Brenda Kawira's death: Why her family does not believe she committed suicide
Ngumba Estate, off the busy Thika Superhighway. A quiet estate engulfed by industries on both sides, and churches on the flanks. For a long time the estate housed families, especially on its upper side that is commonly referred to as Kimsa. But since the estate got a face-lift with a tarmac in 2019, its population has increased significantly, with youthful residents dotting every part of it now.
It is here that the late Brenda Kawira and her boyfriend lived. The two lovebirds were well known to each other’s family, and from what Citizen Digital has gathered, the two families had approved their relationship.
Brenda’s mother, Catherine Gakii, said she knew her boyfriend, and that they used to talk once in a while as he updated her about their stay in Nairobi and life in general.
And as a mother, she was also aware that things were not as rosy as they looked, from the account her daughter gave her in the days leading up to her death.
In an exclusive interview with Citizen Digital, Gakii said her daughter had called her to complain about the relationship with her boyfriend, and had promised to reveal more once she visits their home in Tharaka.
Unfortunately, her dad fell ill and Brenda had to travel to Isiolo to attend to him as she had studied biochemistry at the University of Nairobi, where she left with a First Class honours. Brenda would later die - in what her boyfriend says was by suicide - after she allegedly jumped off their balcony in the 4th floor of their apartment.
“The boyfriend called Brenda’s sister and told her things were not good. He said we needed to travel to Nairobi because something bad had happened. He didn’t reveal much,” Gakii says.
Brenda’s sister, Bridget Gacheri, who also spoke to Citizen Digital, said when she received the call from the boyfriend, he did not want to reveal to her that Brenda had passed away. It was until she got close to the city that he called again and said Brenda had died after jumping off the balcony.
“The statement he gave me at first did not match what he said to the police and his subsequent statements. At first he said Brenda jumped off the balcony after an altercation with him. Then he later told me that she tried to climb down the balcony after she saw one of their neighbours successfully do so previously. That does not make sense,” Gacheri says.
The family says when they got to Nairobi and went to Kasarani Police Station where the matter was referred to, police had already concluded that Brenda died by suicide, going by the boyfriend’s word. However, they did not record his statement.
They further say the house where Brenda is believed to have died from should have been treated as a crime scene by the police, but they did not do so. Instead, they allowed the boyfriend to continue staying there, without cordoning it off and doing more investigations.
A post-mortem report conducted in the presence of Brenda’s family said she had impact on the chest which was from something like a blunt object, but the pathologist said it could have been as a result of the fall.
Further, she had a deep cut in one of her jaws which was not visible, had internal bleeding in the head and bruises in one of her thighs, face and a dislocated elbow.
The boyfriend told the police he had an argument with Brenda before she left their bedroom, and that he would later hear a thud and on checking in the rooms and the balcony, saw Brenda lying outside the apartment.
He went down and requested one of the neighbours to help rush her to hospital, where she was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Brenda’s mother says the police are yet to record the statement of the neighbour who rushed her to hospital, further pointing to what they deem as shoddy investigations.
“When I went into the house, there were traces of blood on the wall. Did the police consider investigating further?” She poses.
She describes her daughter as a jovial person who had never shown any suicidal thoughts, and who shared a lot with her and her younger sister.
She says Brenda had her future already figured out as she was to travel to Australia in June to further her studies and work there. She was also to travel with her boyfriend as she wanted to best for him as well.
“My daughter loved this guy. Even though there were issues in their relationship, she had plans to go with him abroad because he would also get something to do to build themselves. But now she is gone, and the way she has gone is hurting,” Gakii says.
According to Gacheri, on this fateful day, Brenda was active on her social media platforms. She shared on her WhatsApp status a picture of two wine glasses and captioned it ‘for her and him’, a statement she believes meant Brenda with her boyfriend.
But in her diary which she religiously updated, Brenda left a cryptic message, with a line she wrote saying; “I wish I could die, time-travel and go back to when I was not in this relationship.”
Gacheri says this is the line the police used to conclude that Brenda committed suicide, after the boyfriend showed them the diary.
“They made that line look like it was a suicide note. I did not understand because the way I knew my sister, it was not possible that she did that. I also noticed that the boyfriend had a cut on his hand but since I was overwhelmed, it really didn’t hit me then,” she adds.
Brenda died on February 21, 2023 and was buried close to three weeks later on March 12, 2023. But her mother says the family is willing to have her body exhumed if that will give them closure.
“I am a single mum with three kids, now one is gone. I don’t have any ability to face off with other people, but I want justice for my daughter. I am begging anyone out there, starting with the DCI, to please help me get justice. Investigate this matter further and let Brenda rest in peace,” Gakii concludes.
Citizen Digital approached Kasarani police over the matter and their response was short.
Kasarani Deputy OCPD Muthoni Wahome simply said the matter is still being investigated further.
"The DCI is investigating the case and that will determine if it was a case of suicide or not," she said without elaborating further.
She refused to reveal what the said investigations have yielded so far.
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