A Nairobi court on Wednesday heard that Joseph Irungu alias Jowie charged with the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani called a witness through WhatsApp at 2 am on the night Monica died asking for paraffin to ‘burn some stuff’.
Brian Kasaine told High court Judge Grace Nzioka that on the night of September 19 and 20, 2018, he was asleep with his wife when Irungu called him through WhatsApp asking for paraffin or something flammable or air freshener.
Kasaine said he did not have them.
Prosecution counsel Catherine Mwaniki asked whether Irungu specified which kind of stuff he wanted to burn but he said he did not mention it.
Kasaine was a friend and neighbour to Irungu and his ex-fiancée Jacque Maribe who is also a co-accused, at Royal Park estate in Langata.
However, it was from the month of February 2018 that they became close.
The witness had said he knew Irungu on Instagram on social media. He had moved to Langata to stay with Maribe whom he first knew as a TV anchor.
He testified that he knew Irungu as he told him that he once worked in Dubai in a private military. He later informed him that while in Kenya, he used to provide personnel guard security to politicians.
Some of them were former senator Joyce Lay. Kasaine also said Irungu told him he walked in the company of politicians such as Boby Owino and John Muhoho.
Kasaine said he first gave Irungu his firearm in July 2018 where he requested it saying he was also a firearm holder and wanted to sharpen his skills as his gun had defects at the time. I gave him without ammunition and after two days he returned it.
On September 9, 2018, he again requested for the gun for the same reasons without ammunitions. He had promised to return it after two days. However, he did not return it as agreed. During that time, Kasaine said he travelled to the village.
“On September 20, 2018 while asleep at around 2am , I was awaken by Irungu’s WhatsApp call asking for the paraffin. I got surprised at such request of the items by him at such late hour. I replied and told him I did not have any item requested for by him,” Kasaine told court.
He added that Irungu sounded odd and hyper.
The same day in the afternoon at around 3pm, the witness said he met Irungu outside his house where he lived with the then ex-lover Jacque Maribe. He went there to borrow car keys to use his car to pick son from school.
“Irungu was wearing a white vest and grey sweat pants. He was in deep thoughts and distracted. I noticed he was not his usual self as he looked very disturbed in mind,” Kasaine testified.
He said that jokingly, he asked Irungu the purpose of paraffin and he replied that “I was with Mo (Muhoho) yesterday for an assignment and he stabbed somebody”.
Kasaine said he was taken aback at the words.
Irungu further said, “Nilikuwa nataka kuchoma vitu fulani lakini nilitumia air freshener" while pointing towards the empty plot across their house. Kasaine did not comment. He was given the car keys and left.
He returned the keys at around 4.15pm and gave to their house help Pamela and went home.
The court heard, the next day on September 21, 2018, at 1am he heard his gate shaking and upon peeping through the window, he could not see anyone. Because it was persistent, he decided to go downstairs and check.
“I walked to the gate and heard a scream like someone in agony. I found Irungu lying in front of my gate bleeding. I asked him what had happened and saw his upper left chest area bleeding heavily."
He said Maribe was standing there shaking with the phone in her hands. She told Kasaine, Irungu had shot himself.
Irungu started shouting at his fiancée Maribe saying, “You want me out of your house, its fine, bury me in Langata", there he went quiet. Maribe did not answer him, he added.
The witness further said Irungu asked him to go and secure the weapon. He rushed to his house and saw a trail of blood that led to the master bedroom. There were scattered bullets on the floor and a firearm.
I picked up the firearm and identified it to mine, he said. There was one spent cartridge. There was also 28 firearm ammunition which he collected.
With the help of Maribe I took Irungu to Langata hospital but they referred me to Nairobi West hospital saying they did not have a theatre for wounds.
He could not be admitted since we had no Sh50,000 deposit. He was attended to and we left.
Kasaine dropped Irungu in the hospital the next day and after that reported the matter to the police.
Police from Langata came back and requested me to follow them to the station. I was at home. I took them to my house when they asked me to show them my firearm.
After showing them they asked if I had been in communication with Irungu, he said.
One ammunition was mine and others I had retrieved from Irungus house and are totally different from the ones he had. The officers took an inventory.
The officers asked him where Irungu had burned some stuff and I showed them. The place was direct opposite Irungu's house where he had burnt some stuff.
Kasaine denied having had any grudge with the accused.
On cross-examination by defence lawyer Prof Hassan Nandwa, agreed that Irungu and he were friends and known as an undercover officer.
When asked whether the Muhoho mentioned in his testimony was one related to President, he said he had no idea, however, he was relatively prominent.
Kasaine also denied having any evidence to show that they communicated with Irungu saying that his phones had been confiscated by the police.