Monica Kimani murder: Jowie to be sentenced today

Murder convict Joseph Irungu, alias Jowie, will find out this morning how much time he will spend in prison for the murder of businesswoman Monica Nyawira Kimani.

High Court Judge Grace Nzioka will decide what sentence to hand down to Irungu after finding him guilty of murder last month.

The court could sentence him to death, although no one on death row has been executed since 1987, when coup leader John Ochuka was convicted of treason and hanged.

Irungu could also be sentenced to life imprisonment or a jail term depending on his mitigation and the victim impact statement – a statement that describes the physical or emotional harm and loss suffered by the victim of the crime.

The 28-year-old businesswoman was killed on the night of 19 September 2018, shortly after arriving from Juba. She was due to travel to Dubai the following morning, but her lifeless body was found in a bathtub with her throat slit from ear to ear.

“In conclusion, I find that the prosecution has proved its case against the first accused beyond reasonable doubt and find him guilty as charged and accordingly convict him,” Judge Nzioka said in a ruling on 9 February.

The judge said the evidence against Ms Jacque Maribe, who was also charged with the murder, was insufficient to prove the offence against her and accordingly acquitted her.

The evidence presented to the judge was that Irungu stole the identity card of Dominic Bisera Haron, a guard at the compound where he was staying, armed himself with a gun and carried a bag containing a white kanzu, and changed his clothes before going to Monica’s house.

According to the judge, Irungu stole the identity card to disguise himself and gain access to the apartment. After the murder, he destroyed the evidence by burning the clothes he was wearing when he committed the crime.

“It is the finding of the court that the above facts, taken cumulatively, constitute sufficient strands leading to a strong conclusion that the first accused person is guilty of the offence of murder,” Justice Nzioka said.

Although the case is based on circumstantial evidence, the judge said the prosecution had met the threshold of proving that Irungu committed the murder.

The judge added that the evidence showed that Irungu had undergone security training and had knowledge of military operations.

The woman was the managing director of a family business, Millypol General Trading Company Limited, which provides cleaning services and interior design in Juba.

The DPP has already filed a notice of appeal against Ms Maribe’s acquittal.

“Notice is hereby given that the Republic, the intended appellant herein, being dissatisfied with the decision of the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi (Hon. G. Nzioka) delivered at Nairobi on the 9th day of February 2024, appeals against part of the judgment acquitting the second accused person,” the notice from the DPP’s office reads.

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