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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
She refused to reveal what the said investigations have yielded so far.
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