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Tecra slapped Omar Lali in Naivasha, ex-bodyguard reveals during inquest

Tecra Muigai, the deceased former Strategy and Innovation Director at Keroche Breweries Limited was threatened by her lover Omar Lali on two separate occasions, an inquest into her death was told on Tuesday.

This according to the deceased’s driver and bodyguard in his testimony to the court.

The former employee claims Lali threatened Tecra Muigai in Dar-es-Salaam and again in Lamu.

Eric Cheruiyot, a former Kenya Defence Force Officer (KDF) officer, said for the nine months he worked for Tecra, she never lived peacefully with her lover.

He said he witnessed many incidents of confrontation and that their relationship knew no peace.

Mr Cheruiyot said he accompanied both Tecra and Lali on their tours to Nyeri, Meru, Nanyuki, Kisumu, and Lamu.

He said most of the times Lali would retreat to a solitary table then stay alone for many hours while Tecra would join his friends for business engagements which annoyed her lover.

At one time, the Naivasha househelp of the late Tecra found Lali crying in the morning with his luggage thrown outside.

“I asked the house help why Lali was crying then she told me he had been kicked out of the Naivasha residence of Tecra,” Mr Cheruiyot testified.

The magistrate heard, Tecra once slapped Mr Lali outside a Naivasha hotel when he had refused to board her vehicle to proceed to another hotel where she was to meet some friends.

“Tecra grabbed Mr Lali’s shirt and forced him to board their vehicle but he resisted. It’s then I heard Tecra unleash a heavy slap on Mr Lali then he boarded the vehicle,” Mr Cheruiyot recounted.

He recalled that Mr Lali had warned Tecra against meeting some two friends whom he claimed were “not good people.”

“Tecra once asked him (Lali)…’how do you want me to work if I cannot meet and discuss business with my friends’.”

He said the Keroche Breweries heiresss had vowed to ditch him but it never came to pass.

Mr Cheruiyot testified that the late Ms Tecra and Mr Lali shuffled various cities and towns partying and having fun but which ended up in serious confrontations.

In the Dar-es-salaam incident, senior principal magistrate Ms Zainab Abdul heard that a nasty confrontation erupted after the blissful birthday party of Mr James Karanja.

“Tecra had asked me to accompany her to Dar to surprise her elder brother James Karanja during his birthday celebration. He was not expecting her,” Mr Cheruiyot said.

She was also accompanied by Mr Lali.

After the party, Victoria grabbed Tecra’s handbag from Mr Lali then handed it over to the bodyguard with a rider,” Leave Tecra alone you are an old man and she is a young woman.”

That statement enraged Mr Lali who in return told Victoria (James girlfriend) ..”You and Cheruiyot are up to sinister motive.”

He then hurled nasty unprintable insults at Tecra.

Hot on the heels of those insults he threatened Cheruiyot by telling him “You do not know me, I will make disappear and your children will never see you again.”

The guard said he was stung by that threat then dared Mr Lali “make good your threat here and now not in the future. You cannot abuse my boss in my presence.”

The court heard Tecra intervened and cooled down both Lali and Cheruiyot.

That night Tecra and Lali flew to Zanzibar and called him from there then arranged for his flight back to Nairobi.

From Zanzibar they flew to Lamu then Tecra asked him to fly there but he was “reluctant due to the Dar incident.”

Once at Lamu, Mr Lali repeated the threat again and told him “now you are within my area. I can make you disappear and your children will never see you again.”

He reported the threats to Tecra.

Led in his evidence by state prosecutor Peter Muia, the witness said he quit his job since Mr Lali had made his working environment difficult by pocketing monies sent to Tecra for upkeep and for business ventures.

“Tecra did not have an Mpesa number so her money was usually sent to me by her personal assistant Sarita Ikenye then I forward to Mr Lali who never told her,” the magistrate heard.

Mr Cheruiyot reported the financial issues to Tecra’s mother, Tabitha Muigai Karanja , before resigning in January 2020.

He had worked for Tecra between May 2019 and January 2020 but said he never interacted with her after quitting the job.

He said he learnt of her death in April 2020.

In her evidence to the court, the deceased’s mother explained to the court on Tuesday that she had reason to believe Lali preyed on her daughter because she had money.

The hearing continues.