When beleaguered former TV Journalist Jackie Maribe met Joseph Irungu alias Jowie at an even in Bomas of Kenya, during the 2017 Jubilee campaigns, she was beguiled and enthralled.
Even the blind could see why. Who would not be besotted with the Adonis that was Jowie then, before the wages of his sins caught up with him? He was an epitome of hunk, well put together, and still remains easy on the eyes.
Jowie then was working as a VIP guard to former Taita Taveta Woman Representative Joyce Lay and also at a private military firm in Dubai. But he was also often seen in the company of MP Babu Owino and MuhohoBut when he introduced him to her family, Jackie’s dad, Pastor Mwangi Maribe, a preacher in Nairobi’s Buruburu estate, was averse to their union. Call it paternal instincts that he surely acted on and went to her apartment in Lang’ata with the sole mission of persuading her to get rid of the man relatives termed as “boastful, controlling, manipulative and with anger issues.”
Of concern was, among other issues, that although Jacque had introduced Jowie, the Maribes knew very little about his family.
Jackie, said to be the last born is her dad’s favorite. But Maribe was often concerned about his dotting daughter’s choice of mates. He was unsettled by the string of lovers who had been introduced to him.
Jowie who was known to splash her with flowers, drive her to and from work, in between spoiling her as young lovers do.
“She was hopelessly in love with Jowie”, disclosed a family friend,
After her engagement, she posted their photos and message on her social media pages stating that, “We’ve been together for a while now. We are growing stronger every day now, it feels so good and there’s no doubt I will stay with you… through the ups and downs… when no one else is around, and when the dark clouds arise, I will stay by your side, I know we’ll be alright, I will stay with you (sic)…”
Then tragedy struck and together, they are facing murder charges of one Monica Kimani and as the case continues, a witness has told the High Court in Nairobi that Jowie, shot himself in the arm at 1 am on September 21, 2018, to protest being thrown out of Maribe’s house.
Brian Kasaine, who was Maribe’s neighbor at Royal Park Estate in Lang’ata, said Jowie exhibited signs of a disturbed person a few days after news of Monica Kimani’s death broke. Kimani died on the night of September 18, 2018. Her mutilated body was found in her Lamuria Gardens home in Kilimani on September 19, 2018.
Kasaine said that Jowie called him via WhatsApp at 2 am on September 20, 2018.
“I was asleep with my wife when his call woke me up. He inquired if I had paraffin in my house. I asked him why he needed the paraffin, and he said there were things he wanted to burn. I, thereafter, told him that I did not have the flammable substance,” said Kasaine.
According to the witness, it was “strange” for Jowie to call him that late.
Kasaine said at 3 pm on that day, he met Jowie in the estate. “He appeared disturbed and in deep thought,” said the witness.
The following day (September 21), at around 1 am, Kasaine heard someone knocking vigorously on his gate.
When he responded to the alert, he found Jowie lying on the ground near the gate.
“He was bleeding from the upper part of his arm; near the chest,” said Kasaine.
“His fiancée, Maribe, was standing near him and had her phone in her hands. Maribe told me Jowie had shot himself,” said the witness.
According to Kasaine, Jowie was screaming, accusing Maribe of evicting him from her house.
“He (Jowie) told her: ‘you want me out of your house? It is fine! Bury me in Lang’ata when I die’. He, thereafter, went silent. Maribe stood there quietly watching him.”
Kasaine told the court that Jowie asked him to access Maribe’s house and take the gun he’d allegedly used to shoot himself.
“On entering the house, I saw a blood trail leading to the master bedroom. In the room, there were bullets scattered on the floor and a firearm. Upon checking the firearm, I realised it was mine,” said Kasaine.
The witness claims he found 28 rounds of ammunition, but couldn’t immediately establish the ammunition were to be used in which firearm.
That morning, he (Kasaine) and Maribe took Jowie to the Lang’ata Hospital but were referred to Nairobi West Hospital for advanced medical attention.
Jowie was immediately attended to at the Nairobi West Hospital, but couldn’t be admitted because of insufficient admission funds. The hospital wanted Sh50,000 paid upfront, said Kasaine.
According to the witness, Jowie had earlier confessed to him that he had “stabbed someone” on September 19, but he (Jowie) didn’t disclose the identity of his victim.
And just because of love, today Jackie whom friends refer to as an intelligent and ambitious woman is a shadow of her former self, said to be battling depression
Jacque worked as a political affairs reporter after graduating from the University of Nairobi and then shortly, joined Citizen TV in the same capacity in 2012, before later being promoted to the position of a news anchor.
She is also said to have had a penchant to hang out with people who have connections.
Those people and their networks, combined with her charm, work ethic, and drive, launched her into the inner sanctum of the Jubilee political machine during the 2017 presidential election campaigns.
She even got a Head of State Commendation, ahead of her far more accomplished and senior colleagues.
But was she always the kind of woman many think she is?
Apparently, she changed after having a baby with comedian Eric Omondi.
“Her baby daddy is Eric Omondi, but he bailed out on her and this profoundly affected her,” said another friend who admitted that the comedian has been footing child support bills since the baby was born in May 2014.