Slain woman’s haunting farewell: “Come so people can see who is going to kill me!”
In the quiet town of Murang’a, a sinister tale of love and despair has unfolded, leaving the community gripped by shock and sorrow. Lucy Wanjiku, a devoted member of the Catholic Women Action, met a chilling end within the walls of her rented house on that fateful night of May 11.
The darkness that surrounded her demise was preceded by a haunting premonition, driving her to drown her fears in heavy intoxication.
As a skilled tailor, Lucy stitched together beauty by day, while her tumultuous relationship with Mr. Elijah Njanja cast a shadow over her life, marked by incessant conflicts and discord, as revealed by local authorities.
The police recovered her body from the house at around 4am, lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds. In tracing her last moments, police established that she was last seen at a bar in Mukuyu town drinking in the company of friends, before retiring to her home around midnight. The friends told the Nation that she had called Mr Njanja in a drunken stupor and summoned him to the bar, telling him to “come here so that people can see the person who is going to kill me”.
Mr Njanja arrived at the bar at around midnight and an argument ensued, with the bar manager saying that the two were asked to leave after the fight turned physical. Wanjiku is said to have left on a motorcycle while Mr Njanja was on foot.
At her funeral on Saturday in Kaharate village, Maragua Constituency, Wanjiku’s colleagues and friends said she had been experiencing relationship stress.
“We failed to save her before it was too late. She complained that her relationship was not working. We thought it would work. We just tried to warn her to stop her drinking habits, but we all lost her,” said Ms Jerusha Wambui.
Her neighbours say that while they were concerned about the disputes, they did not expect it to end so drastically. Mr Njanja worked as a waiter in a nearby hotel, while Mrs Wanjiku had since ventured into estate agency.
Both were known to be social animals and would sometimes argue and get physical in local bars. “I don’t know what was bothering them. It was as if they were never made for each other. They argued too much in bars,” said Ms Esther Githu, a waitress in Murang’a town.
After the bar fight, Mr Njanja is recorded in the police report as saying he went to Wanjiku’s house at around 2am and they began to argue. “I was called on the phone and I sent my assistant, Ms Lucy Ndirangu.
The police were also called as the argument sounded very serious. By the time we arrived at about 3am, the matter was out of control as Ms Wanjiku had already been stabbed several times and was bleeding,” said Mukuyu chief Adams Kariuki.
Wanjiku is survived by a daughter and a son. Mr Kariuki said the daughter was in the house when the argument between the two broke out and when she heard her mother screaming for help, she rushed out to call the police.
“My assistant and the police arrived at the house at the same time and found the door to their bedroom locked from the inside,” he said.
The police report indicates that “police broke the door to the bedroom and found the two lying in a pool of blood”. “The woman had multiple stab wounds and was bleeding profusely while the man appeared to be bleeding from the stomach,” the report notes.
Murang’a East police boss Mary Kasyoki said the two were rushed to Murang’a Level Five Hospital where the woman was pronounced dead and the man was admitted.
Mr Njanja, 43, was found to have injuries in his back and stomach but was said to be in a stable condition.
Prime suspect Murang’a police boss Mathiu Kainga said that Mr Njanja was being treated as a prime suspect in the murder.
“He was the last person heard arguing with the deceased. The deceased was found lying in a pool of blood in a room where the suspect was the only living companion,” he said.
He added that the kitchen knife believed to have been used in Wanjiku’s murder was recovered at the scene.
“We have every reason to believe that Mr Njanja can help us immensely in unravelling the events that led to the death of Ms Wanjiku,” he said.
Ms Kasyoki said the matter is now under active investigation by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and once Mr Njanja is fit to walk, a murder charge will be preferred against him.
Speaking to the Nation at the hospital under police guard and chained to his bed, Mr Njanja said he hopes to survive this dark moment and love again.
“This time love did not work for me, it is because of love that I am here and uncertain of how it will end. I would have loved to die to escape, but even death has failed me,” he said.
He added that he wished he could talk more about his ordeal “but you know this policeman who is guarding me could use that information to fix me”.
Ms Jane Wanjiku, who claimed to have been the deceased’s girlfriend for the past 15 years, said
“Njanja always complained that Ms Wanjiku refused to settle down properly as a life partner”.
She alleged that “he had left his wife and moved in with Ms Wanjiku, taking over the responsibility of raising her two children from her failed marriage before moving out to live alone”.
Mr Njanja is also said to have demanded that Ms Wanjiku bears him at least two children so that he could feel that he was in a committed relationship.
In addition, he wanted her to give up her drinking and smoking habits. On the fateful day, the daughter said in her police statement that her mother came home around midnight and she opened the door for her. She added that her mother went to bed “and I was only woken up by screams as they fought in the bedroom.
She said she did not know at what time Mr Njanja entered the house. Routine She added that quarrels and fights between the two were routine, and expressed her grief at the loss of her mother, whom she described as “a fighter, loving and who meant well for us and our neighbours”.