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Trio found with murdered woman’s phones charged with murder

By Joseph Ndunda December 10th, 2023 3 min read

A garbage collector who kept a mobile phone he found in trash has joined two others staring at the possibility of being hanged after they were found with a mobile phone belonging to a woman killed in her house at Umoja estate in Nairobi.

Matheka Musembi, 23, is facing the capital offence of robbery with violence after he was found with the phone belonging to Loice Nyokabi Kingori who was killed by unknown people inside her house.

Musembi is charged with robbing Ms Kingori of the phone of unknown value on an unknown date between September 20 and September 23, 2023 in contravention of section 296 (2) of the Penal Code.

He is accused of committing the offence jointly with others, not before the court and fatally injuring Ms Kingori during the alleged robbery.

The offence is punishable by death sentence only upon conviction.

Musembi is facing an additional charge of handling stolen goods contrary to section 32 (1) (2) of the Penal Code after he was allegedly found with the phone.

He joined two others – Elizabeth Muthoki Kinyae, 19, and Esther Nekesa Muyaka, 18, who had been earlier charged with robbing Ms Kingori of her two mobile phones and fatally injuring her during the alleged robbery.

Also read: Kiambu court sentences 16-year-old to 10 years in prison for murder

Musembi, just like the two others, was traced by the DCI and arrested after he inserted his SIM card in one of Ms Kingori’s phones and started using it.

He told the detectives that he had found the phone in the trash he had offloaded from a lorry that had delivered garbage at a site in Dandora, Nairobi, nearly two months ago.

The suspect threw away the line he had found in the phone after consulting family and friends and started using the phone before he was traced and arrested.

The suspects, unaware that the gadgets were stolen, are now likely to face charges related to Ms Kingori’s murder.

Ms Kingori was found dead at her doorstep on September 23 by her sister who went to check on her after she failed to answer calls. It was unusual that her two phones were switched off.

Her sister had seen her alive on Wednesday, September 20, at around 7 pm, and she did not communicate thereafter, prompting her to go check on the deceased on the morning of Saturday, September 23, when she found her dead.

Ms Kingori’s killers, who appear to be highly skilled murderers, only left with her two mobile phones after stabbing her in the abdomen, neck, and hands, which they later disposed of without using.

Therefore, this means there is nothing to link them to the phones that would have linked them to the crime.

Also read: Monica Kimani murder: Jackie Maribe, Jowie Irungu ruling moved to December 2023

The motive behind the murder and those behind it remains elusive, and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) appears to have given up on the matter.

Since then, only those found with Ms Kingori’s phones have been arrested and charged with violent robbery.

They were also accused of killing Ms Kingori during the alleged robbery. They also face a second count of handling stolen goods contrary to section 322 (1) (2) of the Penal Code after they were separately found with Ms Kingori’s second phone.

They are accused of having dishonestly received and retained an Infinix phone belonging Ms Kingori knowing or having reasons to believe it to be stolen property.

Ms Kinyae, who operates a mobile phone repair shop with her husband, told the DCI that she had bought the phone from a youthful man who had initially brought the phone to her for repair.

But the man, unknown to her, was unable to pay for repairs and opted to sell the phone to her together, and she bought it at Sh700. She did not know the customer who sold her the phone.

After repairing it, she sold it to her house help – Ms Muyaka – who is now her co-accused. The DCI traced Muyaka immediately after she inserted her SIM card into the phone and arrested her before she led to the arrest of Ms Kinyae.

Musembi denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Irene Gichobi of the Makadara Law Courts.

He was remanded until January 18, 2024, when the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is expected to consolidate the two cases so that Musembi, Ms Kinyae, and Ms Muyaka are jointly charged.

DCI traced Ms Muyaka after inserting her SIM card onto the mobile phone and she told the detectives that she had been given the phone by her employer – Ms Kinyae, and they were both arrested on October 14. They were also charged

Ms Kinyae and Ms Muyaka denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Erick Mutunga and were released on a bond of Sh200000 each with a surety of a similar amount.

With Ms Kingori’s two mobile phones having been recovered from the three, long after the murder, the possibility of finding her killers appears to be beyond the horizon and the three accused persons are likely to pay for it.