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Monica murder: Joseph Irungu's teachers speak out

Tuesday October 2 2018

Joseph Irungu

Joseph Irungu in a Kiambu court on September 26, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

FRANCIS MUREITHI
By FRANCIS MUREITHI
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As detectives battle to unravel the mystery behind the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani, some of the teachers who interacted with the man suspected of taking her life have opened up.

It is now emerging 28-year-old Joseph Kuria Irungu, popularly known as Jowie, spent only one year at Langalanga Secondary, Nakuru’s leading day school.

DROPPED OUT

“According to the admission book in the school, Mr Irungu joined Form One in 2006 and left in 2007. He did not write his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) at Langalanga,” said a teacher who did not want to go on record as she is not the spokesperson.

She said the Form One admission documents indicate that he had been a pupil at Carol Academy in Racetrack estate, where he did his Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCPE).

Another teacher at Carol Academy confirmed that Mr Irungu was indeed their pupil and did his KCPE in 2005.

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“He joined Carol Academy at Class Five. Teachers in school were surprised to see his photograph in the newspaper as a murder suspect,” the teacher said.

She said Mr Irungu was a good pupil and an entertainer during the school extra-curricular activities.

“He was one of the school's best entertainers. How he changed his character and behaviour is still a mystery to most of the teachers who handled him,” said the teacher.

At Langalanga Secondary School, teachers said they were unable to trace his whereabouts after he left the school in 2007.

HOME

“We were unable to establish whether he continued with his secondary school education or he dropped out after he left Langalanga Secondary School in 2006,” said a teacher at the school.

She said since he only stayed for one year, it was hard to know his character and behaviour.

“Form Ones are cheeky and it takes time to learn their true characters and in his case it was tricky as he left after one year.”

On Sunday when the Nation visited Mr Irungu's home in Lanet on the outskirts of Nakuru town at 4pm, the gate to the palatial house tucked between Kiratina estate and Lanet Baracks was closed.

Efforts to access the compound were futile. A neighbour we met at the entrance revealed that a few weeks back, Mr Irungu’s parents disclosed that he was outside the country "but did not state what he was doing abroad”.

LESSON

Mr Irungu is the second-born in a family of two boys and two girls.

He was a founder member of a church choir called Agape Stormers, a band that entertained revellers in Naivasha and Nakuru towns, where he was born and brought up.

The charges he is facing have shocked those who knew him as a religious man and now some of his teachers have turned the murder case into a lesson.

The teachers are constantly reminding the learners, particularly girls, to be wary of 'sponsors', a term used to refer to older men who give money in exchange for sexual favours.

“I am telling the girls to be contented with what they have. I am reminding them that when they lose wealth they lose nothing but when they lose health and character they lose everything,” said the teacher.

Mr Irungu and his fiancée, journalist Jacque Maribe, and their mutual friend Brian Kassaine are behind bars over the murder of Ms Kimani in Kilimani, Nairobi.