Nairobi News

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Is this Nairobi’s most jinxed house?

The house in which an Australian national was shot and killed on Sunday night has been raided four times in the past year and is now the subject of an investigation.

The house, number 12 in Runda’s Kigwaru area was raided by gangs which stole property and injured tenants in January, April, May and August this year.

In all these previous attacks, however, no one was killed, although property valued at millions of shillings was stolen.

Neighbours said the Australian, Patrick John Richer, shot dead on Sunday, had moved into the house in September.

Business interest

Police said they were in touch with the owner of the house who lives in the United States.

“We want to establish the motive behind these raids. We want to know if the owner of the house has enemies in Kenya and who they are,” said Gigiri police boss Vitalis Otieno.

He added that they would also seek to establish if there were any conflicts surrounding the acquisition of the land in which the house stands.

The house is situated a few metres from Limuru Road near a small river. Its back garden can be accessed from the rough road linking Runda estate to Limuru Road.

The gardener, who was in the compound yesterday, said the assailants entered the compound through the live fence.

It is not clear how they managed to enter the house which, according to the gardener, was not broken into. There were three dogs in the house at the time of the 1am attack.

Mr Otieno said the security guards who were manning the house and the neighbouring ones are being questioned in connection with the murder of the Australian who was the director of TBWA Flame Tree, an international advertising agency.

He had earlier worked for Lowe and Partners, another international advertising agency based in London, and at Ogilvy where he was the creative director.

Police uniform

The assailants, according to Mr Otieno, were 10.

“Six of them were in Administration Police uniform but the others in ordinary clothing,” said the Gigiri Police chief.

The victim’s wife, Leslie Richer told police that the killers were armed with AK-47 rifles and appeared like police officers.

“They took the TV, mobile phones and two laptops,” she said.

However, Mr Otieno said police were yet to know the identities of the attackers but he did not rule out that they might have been officers.

He said the police had asked landlords in Runda through the estate chairman to construct a perimeter fence around the estate to reduce house break-ins.