By Agnes Oloo for eDaily.
Former NTV journalist Sarah Wambui Kabiru met her death in Umoja Esatate, Nairobi after a confrontation ensued over gospel music which was playing in the living room, the trial court heard on Wednesday, May 24.
Former freelance journalist, Moses Dola, who is charged with killing Wambui – his wife –, narrated to the trial court that in the fateful Saturday morning (April 30, 2011), he woke up and “as routine”, went to the living room, where he switched on the music system.
“When I went back to the bedroom, Wambui began complaining: ‘Wewe ukiamka ni lazima kila mtu aamke (When you wake up, you play loud music that wakes every other person up),” Dola said.
Dola told the court that Wambui went to the living room, where she disconnected the entire music system instead of “just switching it off”. At the time, Dola said he was still seated on bed.
The ex-freelance journalist said he went to the living room, where he reconnected the music system; and switched it on.
It is then that Wambui picked an argument with him, Dola said.
“I had noticed all through that she was keeping to herself; indicators of an unsettled woman. Some mornings, she would wake up and play loud music,” said Dola, adding: “I did not think the loud music that I played would have caused a major fight between us.”
Dola said when he realised his wife was not going to stop raising her voice at him, he took their son away from the bedroom, before returning to resolve their argument.
When it became imminent that their fight was not going to be settled anytime soon, Dola said his wife got angry and charged toward him in a bid to attack him.
Dola said he “tackled” her and they both fell on the bed following the push and pull. It is during that scuffle that Wambui hit her head on the edge of the bed, Dola said.
“I did not expect Wambui’s injury to have a big effect. Since I was temperamental at the time, I left Wambui in the bedroom and went to my brother-in-law’s place, where we drank alcohol. In my mind, I was giving Wambui time to cool down,” said Dola.
Dola said he returned to his matrimonial home around 12 noon on the same day, when he found his wife “still lying” on the bed.
“I called Wambui: ‘Babe, babe yaani hasira ya asubuhi bado umenishikia (You are still angry at me because of our earlier scuffle)?” Dola said.
The ex-freelance journalist, who at one time worked at the Nation Media Group alongside his wife, added that he “tapped and shook” Wambui, but she did not respond.
“Several attempts to wake her up were futile and that is when it hit me that Wambui had died!” Dola said before breaking down.
Dola said he fainted following the shocking discovery.
After regaining consciousness, Dola phoned his mother and mother-in-law to break the sad news to them, the court heard.
“After calling my kinsmen on phone, I do not remember what transpired,” he told the court.
Dola claimed that he, later, found himself aboard a Nakuru-bound matatu. How he got into the matatu, he said he did not know.
He alighted in Nakuru, where he “stayed under a shade the whole night”, and when it dawned, he “unknowingly” boarded a Nairobi-bound matatu.
“I decided to alight at Naivasha, where I stayed on a field the whole day, while confused,” said Dola.
“The following day, I surrendered myself to Naivasha Police Station.”
Wambui’s mother had testified in court, claiming she loved Dola “as a son” and had already forgiven him, only demanding an apology from Dola.
Presiding judge, Roselyn Korir, directed the prosecution to bring in papers for cross examination, when hearing resumes on June 19, 2017.
Before her death, Wambui had shown signs of stress and talked to a few friends and relatives of her husband, seeking reconciliation, a 2011 media report said.
In one of the messages to a former colleague, Wambui had asked for prayers, as she was about to secure a lucrative international job, months after losing her job at NTV.
Interestingly, their social media pages painted a rosy picture of a lovely couple blessed with a son.
Dola was alleged to have strangled Wambui at their residence in Nairobi’s Umoja Estate, either using his bare hands or a piece of cloth, as her neck was swollen when police broke into the bedroom.