NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 29 – CITIZEN TV’s Jacque Maribe was arrested on Saturday night over the murder of Monica Kimani—the woman who was found killed in her apartment in Nairobi’s Kilimani area, and her body dumped in a bathtub.
“She is now in custody as a suspect in the murder,” Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti told Capital FM news, soon after Maribe was whisked to Gigiri Police Station, where she will be detained until Monday.
Maribe, accompanied by her lawyer, had gone back to the DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road to record another statement and spent the better part of Saturday with detectives until 6pm when a decision to detain her was arrived at.
“We have sufficient evidence to charge her,” Kinoti said, “she will be in court on Monday.”
Maribe, a star news presenter at the Royal Media Services-owned Citizen TV, is the girlfriend to Joseph Irungu alias Jowie—a prime suspect in the murder, who was arrested last week and arraigned in court in Kiambu on Wednesday.
Police have been allowed ten days to detain him as they finalize investigations before formal charges over the brutal murder can be read out to him.
On Maribe, detectives interrogating her said they summoned her on Saturday to clarify about issues contained in statements recorded by a Jowie, their neighbour at Royal Park in Lang’ata and her housemaid.
“After speaking to the three, and looking at what Maribe had told us for the past two days, it was clear we needed her to come back,” one detective involved in the investigation said, “her statements are not adding up and that is why we had to take her in.”
The arrest also followed the recovery of some items in her house and that of a neighbour—including a pistol Jowie had been using—and which police said is not licensed to him. Jowie is said to specialise in providing close protection services to high profile individuals locally, after working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he worked as a private guard. Photos have lately surfaced of him walking side by side with politicians as a bodyguard while armed–an issue police said they are also investigating.
Jackie, to whom he proposed at a colourful ceremony streamed live on Facebook and Instagram, is reported to have told police earlier that she had seen Jowie with a gun sometimes back, but did not provide it when asked to, until a search was conducted in her house and two neighbouring houses.
“We will not provide you with more details (about the investigation) for now, but what I can tell you is that the maid and neighbour are very helpful in this investigation. There is a breakthrough because we have the gun and some of the items including some money believed to have been taken from the deceased woman,” another detective said, speaking to us in confidence not to jeopardize the case that has attracted a lot of attention online due to Maribe’s social status.
Police have not disclosed the exact charges Maribe will face in court on Monday, but one detective said, “it is about the murder and nothing else. You don’t need to be at the scene (of crime) to be charged with murder.”
Maribe’s vehicle was also used by Jowie when he visited Monica’s house on the fateful night, and police say he did not indicate his name at the main gate.
Jowie was arrested days later, following clues from an errand boy who had found him with Monica in the house, and police have since said he was indeed in the house after analyzing his phone records and his movements on the day. He had a wound on his shoulder which he claimed was a result of an attack in Lang’ata, which is also a subject of an investigation.
Police have said they have evidence showing that he spent much of the night in Monica’s house and left after slitting her throat and dumping her body in the bath tub.
“From a casual analysis, he was not shot but we are waiting for a medical report from the doctors to confirm. It is possible he inflicted the wound himself to confuse us but we are smarter than that,” a senior homicide detective who interrogated him said.
The body of Monica, who operated her family business in South Sudan, was found in a bathtub, with her throat slit and her hands tied to the back.
Her family has confirmed that she was scheduled to visit Dubai to meet her South Sudanese boyfriend, with whom they were planning a wedding.
Her body was discovered by her brother, who had unsuccessfully tried to phone her and opted to visit her house, only to stumble on her body.
She was buried in their Nakuru home on Friday, and her father has pleaded with police to help them get justice.
“We want justice. It is so painful to lose my daughter just like that,” Monica’s father, Reverend Paul Ngarama said during her requiem mass in Thika, where he revealed that she had promised to buy him a Landcruiser V8.