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Jowie Irungu’s father speaks Out

By STELLA CHERONO

The father of murder suspect Joseph Irungu has for the first time spoken about his last-born son, claiming he is innocent of both the killing of Ms Monica Kimani and attempted suicide.

Mr Irungu’s father, whose identity we have protected for his and the family’s security, said he sympathised with the family of Ms Kimani, but he believes his son was not involved in her murder because he was brought up well and in strict adherence to Christian values.

“Shedding of blood is bad; we are not siding with anyone; but I believe my son is innocent,” said the father who lives in Nakuru during an interview at his home.

The suspect’s father, who sought to clarify reports in the media, said he was not happy with the manner the investigations were being conducted, adding that the family plans to hire its own doctor to conduct parallel DNA analysis and blood tests on Mr Irungu so that the “case is not one-sided”.

He refuted reports that DNA results had showed that Mr Irungu was at the scene of crime — Ms Kimani’s house — saying that by the time the reports were made in local dailies, investigators had not even extracted any sample from his son.

“I was shocked to see the report in the papers that DNA samples were showing 99.9 per cent confirmation. I am hoping they can track everything and do thorough investigations. We are wondering how they arrived at that,” he said.

Although he said he was aware that his son had been working in Dubai, and also as a security personnel, he said he did not have any information about his deployment to Afghanistan.

Mr Irungu, according to his father, moved to Dubai to seek employment after completing a hotel industry course at the Kenya Polytechnic.

“He did not get any local training in security. When he left for Dubai, he said he was looking for a job in the hotel industry … and I think he changed (jobs) when he got there and was trained there,” he said.

While in Dubai, he said, Mr Irungu was in constant communication with the family and at some point said the jobs were challenging and he only endured them because he wanted to sustain himself.

The distraught father said his son was a staunch Christian, a regular church-goer and even served in the choir. He said that when the son returned from Dubai, he told them that he lived in Lang’ata with his fiancé, TV journalist Jacque Maribe.

He, however, said he does not remember the name of the estate his son lived in before his engagement to Ms Maribe. Their affair, he said, was well known to the family, which wished him well.

“I blessed him as his father when he told me about his plans with Ms Maribe and told him to continue with his plans. You know I can’t choose a wife for him. I told him he had to take care of himself and his future wife. I asked him if Ms Maribe had the values of a wife and he told me she did, and I gave them my blessings,” the father said, adding that his son planned to take Ms Maribe home before he was arrested.

The father said he knew his son had been providing private security to VIPs during campaigns and elections last year, adding that after the contracts ended, he hoped to go back to Dubai.

The last time that father and son met was at Kijabe Mission Hospital, where the son was admitted “after some people shot him”.

“He called me to say he was in hospital, and so we left with his mother to find out what had happened. We arrived and he told us that he was admitted on Sunday. He told us what had happened and was later discharged on Monday,” he said. The father said the son was alone when they met, but that he had been taken to hospital by his neighbours.

On attempted suicide, the father said Mr Irungu, being knowledgeable on guns, would never have shot himself in the hand if he wanted to die. “I believe, for someone with security training, there are other places to shoot if you want to commit suicide,” he said.

He expressed concern that his son might have received insufficient medical attention — just scans conducted on his hand. He said that unless Mr Irungu receives urgent medical treatment, his hand may have to be amputated.

“Everyone has a right to medical help, even while in custody. We don’t understand why he hasn’t been treated yet the court gave its permission,” he lamented.

On Monday, he said, police took Mr Irungu to Nairobi West Hospital, from where he was referred to Kenyatta National Hospital.

“The doctor wrote a referral letter and it was handed to the police officers guarding him. They said they were going back to their office to arrange the issue. Up to today, he has not been taken to hospital and the hand is rotting,” he said.

The father said he did not know Ms Kimani before her murder, but recalled his son had at one point said they went to school together and used to chat on Instagram.

“I am pleading with the investigators not to rush matters, but to do thorough investigations to reveal who actually did it,” he said.

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