Witness: Police killed Nakumatt auditor after receiving Sh80,000

Nakumatt’s chief accountant was killed as he left the supermarket’s head offices, two years ago, for exposing fraud.

It has emerged James Mania Karanja would still have been killed at his home had he shed off his stalker, who was riding on a motorbike.

Witness statements in the ongoing trial of three suspects, including Police Constable Ezekiel Momanyi Onsongo, show the slain internal auditor was killed for unearthing a major fraud at the now troubled retailer.

Onsongo, who witnesses claim had received a down payment worth Sh80,000 from a Nakumatt insider to carry out the execution, as per court papers, is in custody alongside former chief accountant Phillip Manyura Maroko and boda boda rider Dennison Mose Maroko.

An unknown balance would be paid after the task was completed, a key witness told the court.

Threatening emails have since been sent to several other senior officials in the firm after the death of Karanja, then 27, warning them of possible elimination should they carry on with investigations into the said fraud.


Nakumatt now closes three more branches


Nakumatt now closes three more branches

“James was a young man the age mate of Gilbert and intelligent but his life is no more. Michael is a young man with a young family. I will deal with them. Mr Kimondo will follow suit. I am watching,” the emailed warning copied to four senior official reads.

It was sent about two months after the death of Karanja, a father of one.

Hours after the shooting, metres from the company’s gate off Mombasa Road, a warning arrived promptly in the email accounts of the same senior employees that read: “Last year, we warned James Karanja but he did not listen, now see what has happened to him.”

Latoya Kaka, the widow, did not say whether her husband had divulged any threats on his life in her statement also filed in court.

Investigators have narrowed the motive of the killing down to Karanja’s persistence at stopping mega fraud perpetuated by senior staff and suppliers, and was costing Nakumatt tens of millions.

“The motive of the deceased’s death was due to the fraud investigations he was conducting at Nakumatt Holdings Ltd,” Investigating Officer Julius Kiema told the court.

No names of the fraudsters have been given in court yet.

It is also not possible to determine whether the supposed fraud is responsible for the financial mess that the retailer is currently in. But the management has cited various reasons for the difficulties.

Daniel Nyongo Daudi is listed as top among the people who have testified in court.

Daudi owns the motorbike that police believe was used by the killers to escape from the scene of crime after killing Karanja in his black BMW car about 6 pm on May 7, 2015. He also claims to have witnessed Phillip Maroko, the senior finance officer of Nakumatt, hand over the Sh80,000 as down payment.


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