• Monica told Omondi that Jowie was a security expert working with Interpol and in the Office of the President.
• Omondi had gone to her house to pick parcel.
The late Monica Kimani introduced Joseph Irungu, alias Jowie, to her friend as a security expert working for Interpol and the Office of the President.
Lee Omondi testified on Tuesday in Monica’s murder case in which Jowie has been charged alongside his former fiancée Jacque Maribe with her death.
Omondi told Justice James Wakiaga that he went to Monica’s house on September 19, 2018, to collect documents from her and met Jowie, who was introduced to him as Joe, and a neighbour by the name Walid.
Monica told him that Jowie was a security expert working with Interpol and in the Office of the President. Walid was introduced as a neighbour who had come to see her after she got back from Juba, South Sudan.
Omondi said the Joe he was introduced to was Jowie. He identified him in court. Jowie is the first accused in the case. Omondi said he had positively identified him at the police station during an identification parade. Omondi met Monica in Juba where he used to work.
He said Jowie was wearing a white gown, grey blazer and a red taqiya (Muslim scullcap). Monica told him she wondered why Jowie was wearing a gown. “Havaangi Kanzu lakini leo amevaa (He never puts on a gown but today he did),” he quoted Monica as having said.
Jowie had allegedly responded that he was coming from an operation somewhere in Lamu and had to blend in. Omondi said Jowie told them he had a house in Eastleigh for purposes of an operation he was conducting.
When Omondi arrived, Monica offered him a drink and he asked for Whisky, instead of wine that Monica and Walid were drinking. The businessman had gone to pick a package Monica had brought from South Sudan.
As they drank, they had a small talk as they watched news and commented on different issues, including security. Omondi said he took interest in Jowie because of the security issues he kept raising.
"At some point, we talked of the security situation in the country and Jowie offered to help me get a firearm in whichever way and that’s when I confirmed he worked as a security officer,” he said.
They also discussed Monica’s trip to Dubai where she was to clear a consignment for Unicef. It was scheduled for the following day.
Omondi said Jowie seemed comfortable and could refill his drink and look for bitings in the kitchen. The court heard that Walid was the first to leave the apartment.
“I stayed for a bit after Walid left. I excused myself to leave and Monica noted that ‘even Joe is following you now,’" Omondi said.
Omondi casually commented that Jowie should stay over because the house was big enough. He left at 10.45 pm and Monica did not escort him downstairs.
A day later, he was unable to get in touch with Monica. This led him to believe that Monica had left for Dubai, only to be informed the following day that she had been killed.
During cross-examination, he rejected claims by the defence that he was dating Monica while they were in Juba, insisting that they were just friends. He also denied claims by the defence that Monica’s brother had sent him Jowie’s photos on Whatsapp a day before he identified him in a parade.
It also emerged from his testimony that he never attended Monica’s burial. Omondi said he had travelled that day.
Another witness, John Otieno, the taxi driver, said he picked Monica from the airport in the evening and on the way Monica spoke to two people. One was a bodaboda rider and the other was to deliver food.
Otieno said he saw Monica hand over an envelope with unknown content to the rider. He later dropped her at Lemuria Gardens and left the compound.
Based on their testimonies, none of the witnesses registered at the gate when they got to the apartment. Otieno further said he was not sure if he registered with the guards on his way out as he was in a hurry to pick another client after receiving a request.
Based on their testimonies, none of the witnesses registered at the gate when they got to the apartment. Otieno further said he was not sure whether he registered with the guards on his way out as he was in a hurry to pick another client after receiving a request.
(Edited by F'Orieny)