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Kenya: Jubilee man’s NGO is making waves in Monica murder trial

The man behind a pressure group which has filed papers in the murder trial of TV anchor Jacque Maribe is a former journalist and a Jubilee candidate in the Kirinyaga Central parliamentary race in the last election.

Mr Josiah Murigu appears to enjoy close links with sections of the Jubilee establishment and State House officials. On social media, he has expressed support for Ms Maribe and identified himself as her friend.

It remains to be seen what Mr Justice James Wakiaga — who has issued orders for the media not to report material not canvassed in court — will make of the efforts by Mr Murigu’s Empowering Africa Through Media to use the court process to criticise the prosecution and the investigation.

INTRIGUE

The family of the victim may participate in a murder trial, alongside the prosecution and the defence, but it is not clear if friends of a suspect, or a group representing them, can take part.

The entry of a pressure group whose officials have links to Jubilee into the Monica Kimani murder case has added another twist to a case which has intrigued the nation.

While Mr Murigu says the aim of starting the NGO was to help train journalists how to handle different matters within the continent, the Media Council of Kenya said that the organisation was not registered with it.

LIMELIGHT

“The organisation is not registered with MCK, but we will confirm whether it has applied for any registration as a media NGO in Kenya,” said David Omwoyo, the MCK boss.

Police say that Ms Kimani, a South Sudan-based businesswoman had her throat slit on the night of September 19 at her Lamuria Gardens Apartment in Kilimani, Off Dennis Pritt Road in Nairobi.

Two suspects, Joseph Irungu and Ms Maribe have been charged with the murder and are in custody pending the hearing of their bail application tomorrow. They have denied the charge.

BIGWIGS

Before the filings in court, Mr Murigu was little known outside Jubilee Party where he is an operative.

The last time he was in the limelight was in the last general elections when he quit his job to vie for the Kirinyaga Central seat on a Jubilee ticket. He failed to clinch the ticket.

As part of his campaign, he had managed to bring in several Jubilee bigwigs including Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria to help him boost his image.

On his Facebook page, he posted photos with other media operatives who include Mr Itumbi, the then State House-based Secretary of Digital Innovation and Diaspora in the Office of the President.

EXPERTISE

After the arrest of Ms Maribe, several Jubilee politicians and campaigners, including Mr Kuria and Mr Itumbi, have expressed solidarity with Ms Maribe.

Mr Irungu is represented by top criminal lawyer Cliff Ombeta while Ms Maribe is represented by Mr Katwa Kigen, one of Deputy President William Ruto’s lawyers during the trial at the International Criminal Court.

Mr Murigu in his affidavit not only accuses DCI of laxity but has also written to the US Embassy in Nairobi seeking assistance:

“Given that there is DNA evidence and that the suspected scene of crime is secure, we believe that your expertise, advanced forensic technology, and years of experience would help us quickly to close a straightforward matter with the right suspects brought before the court.”

CLOSURE

On Monday, he told the Nation that the NGO, which can be reached on a Gmail address, had retained private investigators to work the case, a claim that the Nation could not authenticate.

In his letter to the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Mr Murigu says his NGO was concerned that local investigations may be delayed, prejudicing the accused persons and delaying closure and justice to the family and asking the Americans for help. Such requests can only be made by the government.

By Daily Nation

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