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Tricky case of media darling Jane Mugo

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti is the finest detective you can get in Kenya. He is tough as nails and fears absolutely no one. The man from Meru who almost became a Catholic priest and still goes around with a rosary in his pocket once stared at his intestines as police officers collected them and rushed him to hospital to save his life. He had fallen under a hail of bullets from a gang of criminals he was pursuing in Nairobi city centre.

Kinoti hates criminals with a rare passion. It doesn’t matter whether they are goat rapists, slay queens who hire hit men, gun-totting thugs or high profile thieves in designer suits sitting in public office.

Last December, the Star newspaper proclaimed Kinoti its Man of the Year together with his close friend Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji. The duo has criminals of whatever hue peeing in their pants.

On Friday, September 13, Kinoti and his team from Mazingira House (funny name for a sleuths headquarters) on Kiambu Road recovered the body of missing Dutch businessman and golf enthusiast Tob Cohen. The body was dumbed in a tank inside his compound in what a good reporter might describe as the leafy suburb of Kitisuru.

The battery of journalists Kinoti addressed at the residence did not ask him why it took him and his “mboys” two months to find the body that never left the compound. No reporter asked Kinoti what he did after Cohen reported that his life was in danger days before he went missing.

Why Kinoti took such personal interest in the Cohen case whereas there are many other unresolved murder or disappearance cases of Kenyans in Nairobi – not to say countrywide – is something journalists did not think was important. It is taken for granted that certain lives are more important than others.

A day before Kinoti announced the discovery of Cohen’s body, he circulated a public alert about Jane Wawira Mugo, complete with her picture. The DCI described Mugo as a serial criminal wanted for crimes including robbery with violence (which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction), impersonation and threatening to kill.

What is fascinating is that Jane Wawira Mugo has been a media darling for at least four years now. She has been celebrated as Kenya’s top female private detective, a Sharlock Holmes of sorts or Bwana Msa, with several puffs on his kiko helping him to unravel deep mysteries (for those who enjoyed Mohammed Said Abdallah’s Kiswahili thrillers).

A warrant of arrest was issued against Mugo by a Milimani court. But it was lifted on Friday, September 13 and Mugo ordered to appear in court on September 18 to take a plea on the charges she faces.

On the day Kinoti issued his notice, Mugo appeared on Citizen TV to tell the nation that she saw it coming. She was being pursued by Kinoti because, she said, she was working on a case that reveals corruption among top security officials in government.

The upshot of Mugo’s claim is that Kinoti is out to protect certain powerful people involved in crime.

The Nation ran a splash titled, “Wanted: Spy queen on the run”. The paper said: “Not your ordinary woman, Jane Wawira Mugo cuts the image of a sophisticated private investigator and entrepreneur with interests in security consultancy. Until recently, you could hire her services to spy, track and catch a cheating partner. But in a typical case of the hunter becoming the hunted, police are now seeking her over a series of crimes, including armed robbery and impersonation.”

Apparently, the scribes at Kimathi Street still believe Mugo’s expertise is in chasing mpango wa kandos around town. But she told Citizen TV she is investigating corruption in government. Under what mandate? On whose behalf, as a private sleuth?

In January, the Mount Kenya Star, a publication of the Standard Media Group carried Mugo’s story under the headline, “Jane Mugo one of Kenya’s top woman detective” (sic). It was one of many stories by different media houses celebrating Mugo.

Like all suspects, Mugo remains innocent until proven guilty. But the big question remains, can the rosy media stories about her be believed? Did the reporters who wrote about Mugo know everything about her as they claimed?

Kinoti is the finest sleuth around. It will be interesting to see what evidence he has given DPP Haji against Jane Mugo to take to court. The journalists who wrote about her will in time be vindicated or damned.

1 thought on “Tricky case of media darling Jane Mugo”

  1. Its only proper to report accurate news because when it’s given to the public consumption, it’s normally hard to correct the perception already instilled in the public, otherwise media will face endless battles. Before you damage people’s character please verify information

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