Those were the last words Muthee wanted his wife to tell their children as he waited for hired â€˜hit menâ€™ to put three bullets into his head last week. Unbeknown to her, his wife had hired undercover police officers to do the dirty job. In court, she said her husband had become the biggest source of stress in her life, but Muthee says it is all about theÂ management of family property.
There is something about Faith Wairimu that makes her stand out in a crowd. Maybe it is her cute, innocent eyes, or the lock of brown wig that covers part of her forehead, or the earrings that run from the bottom to the top of her ears.
Maybe it is her innocent-looking face, made even more so by a dash of black around her eyes and the sharp arcs of her tweezed eyebrows that make her look permanently stunned and, some say, stunning.
But looks can be deceiving, for this is the woman who last week confessed in a court of law to contracting the services of hit men to kill her husband of 15 years. Her justification? She feared her husband, John Muthee Guama, would leave her for another woman.
Faith says there was no way she could live with the thought of her husband entertaining another woman, and so she sought the help of people she thought were gangsters to put a bullet in his skull. Those gangsters, however, turned out to be undercover police officers, and so here we are, trying to understand how a couple that, from photographs in their family album, looked so happy, and loving, and trusting.
Muthee, probably the luckiest man alive in his Kasarani neighbourhood today, struggled to explain to this writer where the rain began beating his marriage.
â€œI donâ€™t understand what happened,â€ he said, his voice trailing off, â€œand probably it will never sink in. All I can do is just speculate.â€
The police, however, need no speculation. Inside the grubby walls of Kasarani police station, off Thika Road at Roysambu area, a man sits, perusing documents and answering calls on his mobile phone. Every now and then, he steps out to either chat with his colleagues or speak with his seniors.
Muthee is alive today because of the actions of this man, who, being the sleuth that he is, requested anonymity. The target also believes that one of his tenants, a woman he only identifies as Mama Kevo, who was a close friend of Faithâ€™s, might have had a hand in saving his life.
This is how it all unravelled: A few weeks ago, Mama Kevo, acting on behalf of Faith, met with police officers from Kasarani and informed them that her friend was looking for someone to kill her husband.
The police immediately saw a chance to play hero and told her that they would like to be part of the action. They asked Mama Kevo for Faithâ€™s contacts and arranged a meeting.
â€œWe assured Faith that we would do a clean hit,â€ the police officer told us. â€œShe did not know that we were actually police officers and eased herself into the trap effortlessly. She requested that we leave no trace that could be used to incriminate any of us after killing her husband and we assured her that we would be absolutely professional about it.â€
Faith agreed to pay the â€œkillersâ€ Sh200,000 for the job â€” Sh40,000 upfront and Sh160,000 after the hit. Then they parted ways, the police going back to their station to monitor her and she going back home to her husband, whom she hoped would be dead in a few days.
â€œOurs was a pretty delicate operation,â€ the police officer said. â€œWe had to ensure that Faith does not in any way suspect us to be the good boys, and so, on the surface, we took every order she gave us. While at it, we had to ensure that Muthee was safe, so we started monitoring him as well.â€
On June 18, Faith called the â€œkillersâ€ and informed them that the day had come. She had lured her husband to an open, busy place in Githurai from where she believed they could make an easy exit after the killing. Near where they stood was a busy Equity Bank branch and, looking at them from across the road, no one could have imagined what was about to happen.
The â€œkillersâ€ rushed to the rendezvous in a car. Faith saw them but maintained her cool. Muthee just stood there, minding his own business. Around them, the cacophonic frenzy of the Githurai-Zimmermann area swallowed up every sound. Matatus. Market women. Touts. Children out and about. The groan of a car wash machine. The tap-tap of a carpenter busy at work. Everything seemed normal.
But in Faithâ€™s mind all the normalcy was about to be shattered by the deadly burst of gunfire. Where would they hit her husband? Would they be accurate or would they spray bullets all over the place.
She stepped a few metres away from Muthee… and waited for the gunfire. Instead, the doors of the â€œkillersâ€™â€ getaway car opened and a man stepped out. What was happening?
The men went straight for her husband and started dragging him towards the car. Muthee went bollocks, shouting at them to leave him alone and calling his wife to come to his rescue. Then he looked around and realised Faith was nowhere to be seen. She had fled. He was alone. Around them, the groan of a car wash machine, the tap-tap of a carpenter, the wail of a child….
As Muthee struggled with the attackers, a crowd started milling around them. He stood his ground, shouting at the top of his voice that he was being abducted and needed help. The chaos attracted two Administration police officers guarding the nearby bank, who had been informed about the sting operation. They rushed to the scene and helped bundle Muthee into the car.
Once inside the vehicle, the police officers told Muthee they were not out to kill or rob him, but to save his life. He felt his heart sink into his socks. What was happening? Were these people for real? And where was his wife?
He started to settle down and go with the flow when the car eased into the vast Kasarani police station compound. These cannot be bad guys, he thought to himself as he was led into the dark confines of the administration block.
Once inside, the police officers explained to him what was happening and asked him to maintain his cool. Then one of them made a phone call to Faith, asking her to give instructions on what, exactly, she wanted them to do with her husband.
Her answer was as chilling as the tone of her voice. Three bullets to the head, she told them, and dump the body by the roadside. She would, she said, wait for three days before reporting the disappearance of her husband to the police, by which time the killers would be Sh200,000 richer and far, far away.
She also told them she would also lie to the police that her husband had gone on a business trip and was scheduled to return after three days and that, being the loving wife that she was, she had decided to raise the alarm when her husband delayed in coming back home to her.
Muthee could not believe what he was hearing. To make it even more convincing, the police officer asked Faith to speak, for the last time, to her husband.
â€œWhen he handed the phone to me, I could hear clearly that the person on the other end of the line was my wife. Now sure that the police had the right person and were not goofing, I decided to play along. I told her to take good care of our two children and to tell them that their Daddy loved them very much, and that he wished them the best in life.â€
Then they waited for a few minutes before calling Faith again to inform her that they had honoured their side of the bargain. But she needed proof of Mutheeâ€™s death before she could give them the remaining Sh160,000, so they passed by a butchery and soaked their clothes in blood before heading for their rendezvous with her.
Faith walked into the room, looked around, saw the killers, looked again, saw her husband, and crumpled. She did not need to be told what had happened. The officers handcuffed her and took her into custody before taking her to court the following day, where she pleaded guilty to the charges. She will be sentenced this Friday.
So, other than the â€œother womanâ€ that Faith says was her motivation to attempt to kill her husband, what else could have gone on in her head?
Muthee is sure that Faith wanted to take full charge of the property they own and somehow felt she would be better off with him out of the way.
â€œThe last question she asked me during our dramatised conversation on the phone at the police station was that I tell her where I kept the documents of all the properties we have together as well as our vehicleâ€™s logbook,â€ he says. â€œBut is mere wealth worth my life? Couldnâ€™t separation have worked for her? If anything, she is entitled to half the family property by virtue of being my wife.â€
But Faith maintains that it was her husbandâ€™s â€œextra-marital affairsâ€ that pushed her to the wall.
â€œHe has been moving around with other women,â€ she told the court. She also claimed that her husband of 15 years had been physically abusing her and that he had refused to pay school fees for their children. Muthee denies the allegations.
â€˜I have treated my family wellâ€™
However, even with all that is going on, Muthee still speaks well of his wife, but in the past tense.
â€œMy love for Faith was unconditional,â€ he says. â€œI loved her so much and I always believed that she felt the same for me…. I still canâ€™t understand why she would plot to have me killed.
â€œTogether, we came from very humble beginnings and built a future together. In my estimation, I have treated my family well, taking her and the children out regularly and even planning holidays to destinations like Mombasa. I have not kept her out of my businesses at all, as is the case with most families where the wife feels aggrieved. She is even the manager of our business. As far as I know, she started changing after I broke my leg in an accident one-and-a-half years ago. Thatâ€™s all I can say.â€
The two owned a car and a four-storey rental apartment building in Zimmermann. They also operated a joint bank account. The account, he says, has been the source of a lot of friction between them of late.
â€œShe has been feeling that Iâ€™m too intrusive when I insist that rent and any other returns from our various investments be deposited in the joint account for easier management,â€ says Muthee.
So, even as his wife awaits sentencing, does he think he can ever forgive her?
â€œMy in-laws and other people have asked me to forgive her and move on with life, to think of the good things she has done for me and turn a blind eye to this incident,â€ he says, his eyes darting around in an attempt to mask his confusion. â€œWhile it is true that she has never exhibited any signs of doing such a thing, I must confess it is not easy.â€
Muthee says he is traumatised and considers seeing a counsellor in order to cope with the experience.
â€œIt pains me to imagine that I would have been dead today, and, worst, that death was planned by someone I love.â€
For now, Muthee says his priority is his two children â€” one in Standard Seven and the other in Form Two â€” whom he hopes to guide through the traumatic experience.
And so ends the story of Muthee and Faith, two lovebirds who met, fell in love, got married, built a life, got children, plotted a future, but drifted so tragically apart.