Police probe killing of KBC scribe in bizarre shooting

Friday, April 9th, 2021 00:00 |
DCI detective is seen photographing a phone belonging to KBC senior video editor Betty Barasa, who was found at the scene of crime, yesterday. She was shot dead on Wednesday night at her home in Oloolua area, Ngong. Photo/PD/John Ochieng

The killers of senior Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) employee in Oloolua Ngong on Wednesday night were in constant communication with unknown people over the phone.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) believe the unknown persons were part of a well-planned murder plot.

The detectives say the killers of Betty Khainja Barasa were well armed, with two AK47 rifles and a G3 rifle — and had subdued the family members.

Neither did the deceased try to resist at all, with the detectives now saying it was not ordinary robbery but a mission to kill.

According to family members, Ms Barasa drove home in a Toyota Prado and while at the gate, she was confronted by the three men.

The househelp, who was opening the gate, fled when she saw the three men and disappeared within the poorly lit compound.  Ms Barasa drove a few metres to the parking lot where she was ordered by the gunmen to get out.

The deceased’s husband, Geoffrey Barasa Namachanja, the Head of Finance at the National Museum of Kenya, said the three men were all wearing masks and industrial gloves.

Ms Barasa, a senior video editor at the state broadcaster who also doubled as a lecturer, had left office at around 7.30pm.

One of the couple’s children, who had accompanied the house help to open the gate, screamed and rushed back to the house on seeing the armed men.

Appears restless

This prompted the husband to get out and confirm what was happening.

While in the house, the thugs appeared restless since they could not trace the househelp within the compound and the house, and feared that she could raise an alarm.

They ransacked the house before robbing them of a laptop valued at Sh90,000, and two mobile phones among other valuables.

Barasa told People Daily that the gunmen returned his wallet after they realised it had only his national identity card and an ATM card.

“They told everyone to lie down and frogmarched my wife upstairs,” he said.

The deceased repeatedly begged the gangsters to spare her life as they frogmarched her upstairs. They again took him around the house, insisting they wanted money and even robbed him of his wedding ring.

“One of them, holding the weapon on my neck, ordered me to lift my left hand. I did and he removed the wedding ring.

That was when I heard two gunshots. The thug who was outside made a call and said they had ‘finished the work’,” Barasa said.

It was not immediately established what transpired before she was shot.

During the ordeal, the gunmen took strategic positions with one of them taking the deceased upstairs as the other two watched over the husband and the couple’s three children.

As they were leaving, they took him to the kitchen and warned him not to raise any alarm.

“After securely locking the doors, I rushed upstairs and found my wife already dead, in a pool of blood,” Barasa said.

Kajiado North Sub-County commander Rashid Mohammed said that it was not an ordinary robbery, adding that a joint team of detectives had launched investigations.

“There might be more to this robbery than what we already know,” he said.

In most cases, force is used when the victims resist or threaten to fight back or raise alarm. According to experts, the most obvious motive of murder is usually to hide a secret, like in a case where the deceased probably stumbled upon a closely guarded secret.

The residence is located in Oloolua, around Amani Trading Centre, not very far from the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

Police suspect the attackers hid inside a building under construction next to the deceased’s residence as they waited for her to arrive home.

Yesterday, Ms Barasa’s long-time colleague and veteran journalist Bonnie Musambi termed the death as “devastating. Everyone at KBC is still in shock.”

Detectives yesterday revisited the scene and recovered the deceased’s phone within the compound.

The killing of Ms Barasa is the latest in a string of strikingly similar gruesome murders involving women in less than two months.

On Friday February 12, Caroline Wanjiku Maina 38 was kidnapped and murdered before her body was found in a mortuary in Kajiado County.

Exactly a month later, on Friday, March 12, the former National Land Commission (NLC) Communications Director Jenniffer Wambua 46, was kidnapped before her body was later found in Ngong area within the same county.

According to detectives privy to the murder of Ms Maina, she disappeared the same day she withdrew Sh350,000 from Cooperative Bank before she proceeded to Ngara to meet one of the suspect’s in the case, Edwin Otieno Oduor for a business deal.

Goods and services

Ms Wambua, according to the investigations, had just received Sh2.7 million from her employer which was to be used to pay suppliers of various goods and services for the launch of the Commission’s Strategic Plan. Sh2 million had been withdrawn from her account just two days before she went missing.

Ms Wambua on the other hand had left all her belongings including her handbag and mobile phone in the family car. Wanjiru’s Toyota Axio car was found abandoned in Kawangware.

And in the latest case, Ms Barasa seems to have been trailed even as another gang laid an ambush near her residence.

And all the deaths were brutal. Wanjiku, a banker who was first handcuffed and forced into a black Toyota Crown, tortured before being killed. Her eyes had been gorged out.

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