Three years down the line, the distraught family of slain Mentor Sacco Deputy CEO James Njuguna Murigi is still in search of answers to questions surrounding his controversial demise.
The 30-year-old actuarial scientist tragically lost his life under unclear circumstances on Monday, September 22, 2019, in what was initially reported as a motorcycle accident but later proven to have been death by multiple blunt force trauma that left him with a fractured skull, injuries to the right arm and shoulder, stomach and right leg.
The malevolent incident which took place just a few months after Mr Njuguna bought a prime piece of land worth Sh2.2 million in Kambirwa, Murang’a County caught his kin by surprise since the gentleman was only setting out at life and yet to start a family.
More puzzling were the strange activities that took place during his last moments, which left the family convinced it was a murder.
Routinely, Njuguna would wake up at his Murang’a town rental house and then head to the PCEA Church in Murang’a town to worship.
He would then visit his rural home in Gakuyu village, spend the entire afternoon and then leave at around 4 pm and head to the crops farm on the plot in Kambirwa.
On that fateful Sunday, September 22, he repeated the same schedule.
He even memorably bought a kilo of meat for his ailing mother who had just been released from the hospital a few days earlier.
They cooked and happily shared the meal after which he bid them goodbye and left for his shamba at around 3 pm.
Little did they know it was the last time they would set their eyes on their son.
Interestingly, on this same day, Mr Njuguna kept receiving calls from Mentor Sacco’s offices to attend to some urgent matters on a non-working day.
His boss, the CEO of the Sacco Joyce Ndegwa, said there was an incident that quickly needed to be resolved at the workplace.
So he decided to pass by before proceeding with his private business at Kambirwa farm.
“My son had disclosed to us that there were work-related issues due to the construction of an 11-storey building.
He kept telling us that some people were piling pressure on him over a deal in relation to the building.
The CEO called him twice to go and solve a problem related to what he has been complaining of,” Mr Njuguna’s mother Mary Watiri recounted at the time.
On reaching there, Mr Njugua found an altercation between the guards and some people who apparently wanted to take a photo of the Mentor Sacco building.
CCTV cameras on the Mentor Sacco Society building in Murang’a town captured him with other individuals at the scene that evening.
Thereafter he left for the farm where he briefly watered his crops before he received another call from a colleague at Mentor Sacco who asked him to return to the office to conclude the unsolved ‘problem’.
When he delayed arriving at the office, the co-worker decided to give him another call to ask what was taking him too long to get there.
This time around, a different person received the call and informed Mr Njuguna’s colleague that he had been involved in an accident and that someone should go check on him at Murang’a Hospital.
The unidentified individual also stated that James appeared very drunk.
But to those who knew him, this raised even more questions because Mr Njoroge did not partake in booze.
Doctors at Murang’a Hospital confirmed that Njuguna arrived severely injured.
He was rushed to Nairobi Hospital but he died before noon that Monday.
A ‘witness’ who reached out to the family claimed that it was a hit-and-run accident where Mr Njuguna was a passenger on a boda boda heading to Murang’a town from Makuyu and that he fell off when the bike hit potholes at a high speed at an area called “Choma Zone”.
The self-professed informant added that the boda boda operator sped off and left Mr Njuguna lying at the scene.
Ironically, unlike most road accidents where people surround the scene, in this case, there were no people reported on the ground.
It is also quite odd how despite the severe impact of hitting the potholes, the motorcyclist managed to ride from the scene.
The family claims the motorbike incident could be a well-choreographed move to mask the real killers.
When corned with the question, Mentor Sacco CEO, Ms Joyce Ndegwa strongly rubbished the claims that Njuguna’s death was work-related but failed to explain why she called him to the office on that day.
Mr Njuguna was described as an industrious and visionary leader whose absence will forever be missed.
At Mentor Sacco, he had quickly risen from the management staff, assistant accountant to accountant and then the deputy CEO.
He had a degree in actuarial science and held a bright future.
The last time detectives spoke on this matter was through County Criminal Investigations Officer, Ms Juliana Muthini, who said that investigations were at an advanced stage and that they had recorded statements from several people, among them the Mentor CEO.
Ever since then, the silence has been too loud, leading to all sorts of speculations as to what might have cost the deceased his life.
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