Father testifies in Kabiru’s murder case

Tuesday November 22 2011

Wambui Kabiru was found murdered in her house in Umoja, Nairobi on May 1, 2011. Photo/Family Album

Wambui Kabiru was found murdered in her house in Umoja, Nairobi on May 1, 2011. Photo/Family Album  


Father of the late journalist Sarah Wambui Kabiru almost came to tears as he testified how he received the news of the death of his daughter.

Mr John Kabiru Gitahi’s reddened eyes blinked rapidly as he talked with a trembling voice. He occasionally attempted to clear a lump in his throat.

Mr Gitahi narrated of the short time he knew Mr Moses Dola Otieno — the man accused of killing his daughter. (READ: Man charged with reporter’s killing)

“When Dola came to see me with his uncles about his proposal to marry my daughter, I had no objection because I already knew they were expecting a child,” he said.

After the marriage, the father said, he never heard of a quarrel between the couple and knew Mr Dola as a good man who used to call him at least once every two months.

Fateful night

Then came the fateful night of May 1 2011. Mr Gitahi told Mr Justice Nicholas Ombija that he was in his house at Nyali in Mombasa watching the 7pm news bulletin when he received the sad news.

“My phone rang and when I looked at the number, I saw it to be my daughter’s. I picked the call but it wasn’t her calling. The voice on the other end belonged to Dola,” he told the court.

Before exchanging greetings, Mr Gitahi painfully narrated how Mr Dola dropped the bombshell. “Mzee, Wambui amekufa(Old man, Wamboi is dead).”

According to Mr Gitahi, he did not believe what he heard and asked Mr Dola how it happened, to which he answered in Kiswahili. “Nilimgongesha kwa ukuta.” (I banged her on the wall).

He said it took him some time to recollect himself after which he called a friend, Wambui’s cousin and brother and requested them to go to their house and confirm if indeed his daughter was dead.

Never seen Mr Dola

“My son called me at midnight saying that they had broken into the house and found Wambui’s lifeless body lying on the bed. My friend also called and confirmed the same,” Mr Gitahi said.

He then came to Nairobi two days later and found the body had been taken to Montessuna Funeral Home.

He added that he had never seen Mr Dola since the killing took place and only came face to face with him for the first time in court.

As Mr Gitahi gave his testimony, Mr Dola looked remorseful and pensive across in the dock.

His eyes wondered from side to side and when he looked at the direction of his father-in-law, he dropped his head and stared at the ground.

He sighed occasionally, holding his chin and looking up to the ceiling in a prayerful mood.

Mr Dola has denied murdering his wife Sarah Wambui Kabiru—a former new anchor with NTV— on May 1 at their Umoja estate home in Nairobi.

The State has lined up eleven more witnesses. The hearing was adjourned to March 12, 2012.