Kenya reopens inquiry into murder of woman last seen with British soldiers


Kenya will reopen a nine-year-old murder investigation into the death of a single mother last seen at a hotel with British soldiers, the national police chief said on Monday.

Agnes Wanjiru was found in a septic tank at the Lion’s Court Hotel in the garrison town of Nanyuki in June 2012, two months after she disappeared.

The 21-year-old, whose baby was only a few months old at the time, was beaten and stabbed, an inquest report by a local magistrate said in 2019. She was probably still alive when she was thrown into the tank, the report said.

No suspect has been arrested or charged over the murder. Interest in the case was renewed last month when Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper said it had identified a possible suspect after a months-long investigation.

The report caused widespread anger in Kenya and many have taken to Twitter to demand justice for Wanjiru.

“I have directed the DCI (Directorate of Criminal Investigations) to re-open the case… and ensure the case is concluded before a court of law,” Hillary Mutyambai, the inspector general of Kenya’s police, said during a regular interaction with social media users on Twitter.

“I am also urging the UK government to collaborate with us to conclude the case and administer justice.”

Britain’s ministry of defence said it would support the investigation.

“We always work in partnership with the Kenyan police and subject to international and judicial processes our help will always be forthcoming,” an MOD spokesperson said.

Witnesses told the Kenyan inquest that Wanjiru had joined the British soldiers at the Lion’s Court hotel’s bar, hoping to get a client who was willing to pay her for sex so she could feed her baby.