Joseph Irungu, alias Jowie, the man charged with the murder of businesswoman Monica Kimani, says harsh environment at Kenya’s largest security prison and neglect by close friends have taught him life lessons.
In a recent interview with the Sunday Nation team, Jowie revealed that he is locked up in a Kamiti Maximum Prison solitary cell where he never interacts with other inmates and his visitors are only allowed to see him for strictly 10 minutes.
He intimated that some warders who he termed as “outright bullies” have made his life a living hell.
Only his close family members and countable friends, he says, have offered him a shoulder to lean on since his arrest over a year ago.
Jowie told Nation that members of his family from Nakuru have been his frequent visitors.
His elderly parents, he said, have been paying him a visit every week without fail.
“At least every Tuesday, my parents come to see me. They travel from Nakuru to Kiambu every week.
“Since this is a maximum-security prison, you can imagine someone who left Nakuru at 6 AM to come and see you early is given only ten minutes to talk to you. And it’s strictly 10 minutes, ” he told the local media.
His friends from Dubai, who visit once in a while, are also not allowed to see him for more than 10 minutes.
“Some of my friends think they’ll have 30 minutes or one hour of speaking with me. They are given 10 minutes and wonder: ‘We took a flight to come talk to you for 10 minutes, surely?’” Jowie lamented.
Jowie said some of his friends have neglected him at the time he needed them most following his implication in Monica’s murder.
“Now is when you know people who care, people who matter, people who have your back,” he said.
Jowie said when he is not sleeping he is busy fighting mosquitoes.
“Staying here has made me realise that mosquitoes can be ruthless,” he said with a chuckle. “Mosquito nets are a luxury. Your work is to fight with the insects, crushing them against the wall, ” he added.
When he wants to keep himself busy with a book, he claims, he has to make a written application.
Solitary confinement also means he cannot be transported to hospital like most other prisoners. A medic is brought to him instead.
On Thursday, the suspect told a Nairobi court that he is suffering and wanted to be granted bail like his ex-fiancee Jacque Maribe who was also charged with the murder of Monica.
The suspect, whose previous bail applications have been denied for allegedly being a flight risk, further sought to assure the court that if released he had no intention to go anywhere.
“My second accused (Jacque Maribe) was granted bail and she never absconded court. I deserve the same,” he said.
He made the application after Monica’s brother, George Kimani, a witness in the case, gave his account of the last moments of his late sister.
On the morning of September 28, 2018, he recounted finding his sister in the bathtub with blood oozing from her mouth, her hands and legs tied, her nightgown pulled up to her waist and her innerwear torn.
Monica’s family wanted the murder most foul reported in the media but Jowie, a former security guard and Technical University student, advised them to keep it quiet and instead let his security firm lead the investigations, the court heard.
“If you involve the media, this case won’t go far. I run a security company and I can help you trace who did this,” Jowie had told George over a WhatsApp call.