The British government has said it’s fully cooperating with the Kenyan government in the probe into the alleged murder of a woman by a British soldier in Nanyuki in 2012.
Agnes Wanjiru, a sex worker, was found dead in a septic tank after partying with the troops at Lions Court Hotel, which is located near the British army base in Nanyuki, nine years ago.
In a statement on Sunday, Jane Marriot, the UK High Commissioner to Kenya Kenya, said the British government will “help in any way we can” to ensure the family of the deceased gets justice.
Marriot issued the statement after British paper, the Sunday Times, published an investigation on alleged Kenyan and UK authorities cover-up on the murder.
“I share the concern about the tragic death of Agnes Wanjiru in 2012 – my thoughts are with her family and the community. I can assure Kenyans that the UK is fully cooperating with the investigation and will help in any way we can,” said Marriot.
According to Marriot, after the incident was reported, UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out a probe and handed information about the military personnel to Kenya police.
“In 2012, the UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out initial inquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to Kenyan police. No further requests were received at that time.
“Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we understand that the Kenyan authorities are looking into the murder. We will support that Kenyan police investigation,” she added.
She denied claims that the two governments had overlooked the matter to avoid a diplomatic row.
“The conduct of the UK military here is incredibly important to us. They do a lot of good in Nanyuki, for the economy and the community. But where there are issues, we have and will address them,” she added.
“Senior military visitors from the UK come to Kenya regularly – including in the coming weeks – and will be discussing Ms Wanjiru’s murder and UK support to the Kenyan investigation.”
It’s alleged that the soldier stabbed the then 21-year-old Kenyan mother, who left behind a five-month-old daughter, to death before dumping her body in a hotel septic tank after a night of partying.
At the time, Wanjiru was trying to support her baby while living with her sister in a single room in the Majengo ghetto.
The body of Wanjiru was found by a maintenance worker who noticed a foul smell two months after her murder. The soldiers had already left Kenya at the time of the discovery.
One of the soldiers confessed to the Sunday Times that the killer comrade showed them the body of Wanjiru on the night she died.
The paper identified Wanjiru’s killer as soldier X and the informant as soldier Y.
“He took me to the tank and lifted it up, and I looked in and I just remember seeing her in there. My heart sank. My mind just went blank. The only thing I could say to him was: ‘I’ll never forgive you for this,” soldier Y was quoted as saying.
Soldier Y, who is from the Duke of Lancaster regiment, recounted how the colleague burst into the bar where the other soldiers were partying and appeared visibly distressed, saying: ‘Help me, help me…. I’ve killed her’.
Soldier Y said he told ‘the proper people’ about the alleged killing.
“Everyone. All the lads, all the senior command that were there. I went to higher up, hierarchy, people that should have dealt with it. I got called a liar. They basically just said, ‘Shut up and get out,’” he said.
Another military man identified by the paper as soldier Z said Soldier X told colleagues he had killed Wanjiru by accident during sex after choking her.
However, It later transpired that Wanjiru had been stabbed to death, and she also suffered blunt force injury to her chest and her lungs had collapsed.
No action was taken even after an inquest linked the British soldiers to the killing.