Tycoon’s agony as he testifies in wife’s killing at City Park

L-R: The late Janet Waiyaki and George Kirubi in court.

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George Kirubi yesterday fought back tears as he recounted his shock when he heard that his wife had been shot and killed.

Mr Kirubi broke down more than once on the witness stand, as he struggled to explain the events of May 20 last year, when his wife Janet Waiyaki was killed at Nairobi’s City Park.

Kirubi looked both weary and agitated. He kept staring at the court walls, the ceiling and sometimes into vacant space. All the while he studiously avoided making eye contact with the policemen who are being tried for his wife’s murder.

When emotions got the better of him, Justice Stella Mutuku had to cut him short, and ask him to calm down and concentrate on the questions he was being asked.

At one point, the trial judge and the State prosecutor had to plead with Kirubi to look up when answering questions after he said he could not stand the pain anymore and requested to sit with his head buried in his hands.

Although there were suspicions that Kirubi’s 27-year-old nephew Benard Chege was having an affair with his wife of 16 years, he told the court that he was not aware of anything going on between the two.

“I cannot tell whether my nephew had a close relationship with my wife. I cared for my wife so much… it is the reason why I was looking for her when I couldn’t find her in the house and her phone went unanswered. I only became aware that she was with Benard (Chege) after the incident,” said Kirubi.

Kirubi was testifying in the case where two police officers, Administration Police constable William Chirchir from Makadara Police Station and AP Constable Godfrey Kirui from Industrial Area Police Station are charged with killing Waiyaki.

According to the prosecution, the two officers fired 15 bullets into the vehicle that Waiyaki and Chege were in at City Park in Parklands. Waiyaki, then aged 41, succumbed to the gunshot wounds while Chege was left fighting for his life.

The vehicle in which Janet was shot.

Kirubi testified that on May 19, he was in Pangani for an event and did not return to their Greenspan estate home after the function he was attending ended past midnight.

The following day, he said, he went home and found his three children under the care of the house-help.

“I asked the house-help and she told me that my wife had left the house in the morning. I called her but she was not picking my calls. It was unusual for her to leave, given that it was a Sunday and we usually didn’t open our shop on Sundays,” said Kirubi.

He stated that at 11am, his cousin called him to ask whether he had heard about his wife getting shot. Kirubi said he was not aware and the cousin told him to rush to Avenue Hospital to see her.

Before the news could sink in, Kirubi said he received another call from his sister-in-law, who told him his wife was dead.

“When I received the third call from my mother-in-law asking me my wife’s whereabouts, I became confused and lost my head. I wasn’t even able to go to Avenue Hospital.”

The hearing continues.