NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 24 – Police are investigating the murder of a city-based contractor who was shot dead outside the house of a female companion in Lang’ata in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The contractor identified by police and fellow business associates as Maxwell Owuor is the Chief Executive Officer of JABO East and Central Africa, (JABOEAC) a construction company that deals in pre-fabricated buildings.
The woman in whose house the man spent the better part of Tuesday told police they went out until at about 3am using her Mercedes Benz.
The man had left his Suzuki four-wheel drive vehicle in the woman’s compound at Akiba estate within Lang’ata estate.
“This man had been in this house with several other people on Tuesday afternoon and they all left at night. The deceased left with the woman using her car and they went to a bar within Kilimani area until very late,” Lang’ata divisional police chief Rono Bunei said, quoting the woman he identified only as Nina who works at the Customs department of the Kenya Revenue Authority.
Guards in the estate told police the victim was driving the woman’s car when they left the compound and when they came back at about 3am.
“She has told us that when they parked, they stayed in the car briefly because the man was sending either a text message or an e-mail from his phone and when they came out, that is when he was confronted by gunmen who wrestled him down before shooting him once,” Mr Bunei said.
The gunmen then grabbed the man’s mobile phones and fled in a Toyota RAV4.
“It appears these men had been trailing this vehicle for some time, because all the time the man and woman were in the car, the two men who were in the RAV4 had alighted and were waiting them to come out. There is even a guard in the neighbourhood who confronted them and demanded to know what they were up to,” Mr Bunei added.
The woman was not hurt by the gunmen who reportedly sped off in two vehicles that had been trailing them.
“We have visited the scene and the impression we are getting is that these gunmen were trying to pull this man back to their vehicle and when he resisted that is when he was shot dead,” the police chief said.
The woman was asked to record a statement with the police to facilitate investigations on Wednesday.
The vehicle belonging to the deceased was parked at the Lang’ata Police station yard, as detectives begun a probe into the killing.
Mr Bunei said detectives were keen to question all the people who were at the woman’s home for the better part of Tuesday and three guards who witnessed the struggle and subsequent shooting of the man.
Fellow directors of the deceased told journalists they did not know the whereabouts of the man until Wednesday when they were called by a friend who broke the sad news to them.
“The friend who called us was equally not sure if it is Maxwell but since we had been looking for him since morning we decided to go to the city mortuary to see if he was the one, and we positively identified the body. It’s too shocking I cannot believe someone I was with last evening is dead,” George Philip Ouma a director at JABOEAC said.
Another director Robert Tongoi said they had been trying to reach the deceased on Wednesday morning in vain.
“We had a meeting in the morning and he did not turn up, his phones were off so we were wondering and we even went to his house and he was not there. We only learnt of this when a friend called us,” Mr Tongoi said when he visited the Lang’ata police station, shortly after identifying the man’s body at the city mortuary.
The deceased leaves behind a wife and two children.
“We have informed his wife and she is equally shocked,” he added.