South Sudan President Salva Kiir has revealed that he was unaware of the existence of the late businesswoman, Monica Kimani, in the country, despite several reports suggesting she had deep-rooted and solid connections with the nation’s top administrators.
Mr Kiir, 67, made the revelation on Citizen Television’s Jeff Koinange Live on Wednesday, October 24.
“I am sorry for the loss of that young lady’s life, and it was my first time to hear that there was such a personality in South Sudan, who had managed to acquire a lot of money,” said Mr Kiir.
“[It is sad] that on her way back to Kenya, she got killed. I never knew about her, I never heard of her presence, and I do not know who is, or are, responsible for her killing because she lost her life in her own country,” added the Head of State.
President Kiir says there is nothing much he can do to facilitate the search for justice for Ms Kimani, given he was not privy to her dealings in South Sudan.
“It is not me [mandated] to investigate. The people who are accused of having laundered money with her… yes, they may be in Juba, but it may not be South Sudanese people, who are laundering the money.
“If you walk on the streets here, people on those roads are of different nationalities, not only South Sudanese citizens. Those people came here for business, and they are making a lot of money,” said Mr Kiir.
“People have been pouring into South Sudan since 2005, when a comprehensive peace agreement was signed,” he added.
“Your investigations in Kenya should find out how this young woman died,” Mr Kiir told Mr Koinange in the interview recorded at the presidential palace in Juba.
The South Sudan leader, nonetheless, assured Kenyan law enforcement agencies of his support should it be needed.
Mr Kiir was responding to claims linking Ms Kimani to an army general, who reports alleged was the one bankrolling the businesswoman’s luxurious lifestyle.
“That general can be held to account. I will not stop him from being investigated,” said Mr Kiir.
Ms Kimani, who reportedly had a boutique business in South Sudan, was killed on the night of September 20 at her Lamuria Gardens home in Kilimani, Nairobi. She was aged 28.
Three suspects, including Citizen TV journalist Jacque Maribe, her fiancé Joseph Irungu and a Recce squad officer are being held in connection with Ms Kimani’s murder.
Mr Irungu and Ms Maribe, who have been in custody for nearly one month now, would on Tuesday, October 30 know their fate in regard to their bail application.