The mysterious and creepy life of Joseph ‘Jowie’ Irungu

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Close friends of Joe Irungu, Key suspect in the murder of Monica Nyawira Kimani, have opened up on how they knew and related with him. According to Nation, the friends who did not want their names mentioned had different descriptions of Joe, some saying that he was too creepy and it was no surprise that he was linked to Monica’s murder.

One woman described his generosity and wealth in one breath — he never drove the same expensive car for long, she said, and no drink was too expensive for him — but another flatly declared that for those who know Mr Irungu, it is no surprise that he is a murder suspect.

“He is creepy,” she said, using a term which in the street captures the aura of menace associated with people you are best advised not to play with.

Mr Irungu’s life on the fast lane has been brought to a grinding halt by his detention as the key suspect in the killing of Ms Monica Nyawira Kimani two weeks ago in Nairobi’s Kilimani area, a crime that has gripped the country.

The manner in which she was killed — by having her mouth taped shut to stop her from raising the alarm, her hands tied at the back, legs tied too, rendering her helpless, and the cold precision with which her neck was nearly severed — had the air of a thriller about it.

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Even the act of leaving the water running in the bathtub, where Ms Kimani had bled to death, to drain away the blood had the same air of competence.

His celebrity lifestyle and fine taste, as well as his dramatic fall — with a gunshot wound to the chest and a beautiful woman at his side in the dock — also has the same unreal touch of Hollywood.

Police have been painstakingly trying to piece together Mr Irungu’s character, with sources saying he once worked for two military contract companies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The companies alleged to have employed Mr Irungu include KBR, a US deconstruction and private security firm, and O’Gara Group.

“I still need to confirm that,” Mr George Kinoti, the Director of Criminal Investigations, told the Nation last evening.

From the entertainment spots he frequented in the city and outside the country, it is clear that Jowie has a particularly voracious appetite for the good life.

Locally, Kiza in Kilimani, Jiweke Tavern on Ngong Road, and 1824 on the opposite side of the city on Lang’ata Road are his favourite watering holes. It is here that he enjoyed expensive whiskey and the company of friends before it all came tumbling down.

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Partying in such joints comes at a premium, but going by the tens of photos of him and other revellers posted by Jiweke Tavern on its Facebook page, for instance, it is clear that Jowie was a venerated patron and a regular.

His manner of dressing, mostly cool jackets, fancy shoes and T-shirts, oozes extravagance and fine taste.

A friend and former classmate, who did not wish to be named because of Mr Irungu’s newfound notoriety, described him as a “mysterious” person. He said that Mr Irungu had a lot of money, but no one questioned its source because he had worked abroad.

“I have known him for more than 10 years,” he said. “We all knew he was working as a professional bouncer in the Middle East but did not go beyond that.”

Mr Irungu is a man who is not shy about showing his expensive lifestyle on social media. Pictures on his Instagram account, where he has more than 18,000 followers, speak volumes about his lavish experiences.

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His love of socialising with women, his friends said, is legend. A young city woman who said she went out with Mr Irungu and his clique on different occasions described him as “quite the marauding bull”.

She claimed Mr Irungu is in the habit of dating women and dumping them quite fast. She also described him as an “overprotective” boyfriend who generously treats women.

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