A wierd text message sent to a witness in the murder case against Joseph Irungu, alias Jowie, and journalist Jacque Maribe has raised questions.
On Tuesday during the ongoing murder trial of businesswoman Monica Kimani, Antony Kariuki, a businessman, told the court Monica was his friend.
However, he revealed that she had sent him a weird text message at 11 pm on the date she is said to have been murdered, saying "come help me sleep".
“I found the message weird since my relationship with her had not moved to that level but I responded that I would go the following day,” Kariuki told the court.
While being led by prosecution counsel Catherine Mwaniki, Kariuki said he had met with Monica on September 19, 2018, in the evening at around 9.20 pm. He said he drove his car to Lamuria Gardens to meet her.
Kariuki was testifying in a case in which Jowie and Maribe are charged with the murder of Monica in 2018.
He told Justice Grace Nzioka that he first met the deceased in Nyeri at a dowry ceremony for his friend Willis on August 25, 2018.
“It was my first time to see Monica and it was Willis who introduced me to her. They were working together in South Sudan,” he said.
"We talked and after the event, we went to have drinks in Juja town along Thika road where there were other people."
He testified that at that point, they exchanged numbers and talked frequently with Monica. He had her South Sudan and Kenyan phone numbers.
Kariuki and Monica met again at her residence Lamuria Gardens some weeks after their first meeting. He said she gave him directions to her place.
The court heard they wanted to discuss business opportunities in South Sudan as Monica had told him that she ran a family business there.
“I used my car. I proceeded with my entry at around 2pm. I entered the compound. She came down and we went to the 3rd floor of the house. [She] gave me a glass of juice. We talked about business issues. I then left. I took 45 minutes with her."
On September 19, 2018, at around 9.20pm, the witness drove to Lamuria Gardens to see Monica. He parked in the compound.
“This was the second time and I was not asked for identification cards as I had given out the first time and I told them I was not taking long. Monica came down to where I had parked, hugged me and told me she was in a hurry with two visitors in her house, a Lebanese and a security guard from State House,” Kariuki said.
He then left and headed straight to his place. He said at around 11pm, she sent him a message, "come and help me sleep", to which he responded, “I will come tomorrow.”
He later tried calling or texting her three to four times on September 20, 2018, without any success as the mobile numbers were not going through and she was not responding to text messages.
“On September 21, 2018, I received a text from Willis saying that Monica is no more. I enquired what happened and I was informed that she was murdered. I never attended the burial as I had other engagements in Sotik,” Kariuki said.
Kariuki said he lives in Kileleshwa, some 20 minutes drive from Monica's place.
On cross-examination by defence lawyer Hassan Nandwa, the witness denied having been Monica's boyfriend.
He said Monica was his friend, adding that she had told him that she would be going to Sudan and Dubai the following week before she died.
When asked how close they were, Kariuki said that at one time Monica asked him for food and not Willis who introduced him to her because Willis was in South Sudan and "I sent her".
The prosecution said 15 witnesses have already testified and only 10 are remaining to conclude the case.
The two have denied the charges in the case and are out on bond.