(Continued from Madam General III)
The young reporter’s name is Dinah. She is trying to make a name for herself so she jumps when Harry tells her that he knows why the good judge Ombot was killed. They meet at a small restaurant in Kajiado. Sharon warned him a long time ago that people with the know-how can tap into smart phones remotely and listen to conversations, so yesterday he used ‘mulika mwizi’ phone to call the journalist and set up today’s meeting. He was on his way home when he parked his car on the side of the road, left his smart phones inside, walked a safe distance away and made the call.
To get to their rendezvous in Kajiado, he drives to his office in Upperhill, leaves his smart phones in his office then takes a matatu to the CBD. He takes a random taxi in town and heads to Kajiado. He avoids the digital taxi apps like Uber because, again according to Sharon, these apps track your movement and someone with the technical know-how can manipulate them to access the data.
The restaurant in Kajiado is nothing more than a shack. Harry tells the taxi driver to wait for him in the car or find another restaurant. Harry finds Dinah taking tea and bread. He orders the same. The tea is thin enough for one to see the bottom of the metallic cup. There is no sugar dish in sight, but he soon realizes that that is because the tea is already soaked in sugar. He is served with triangular shaped slices of bread plastered with enough margarine to chock three elephants with cholesterol. Harry doesn’t get the logic of saving on milk and wasting on margarine and sugar.
“Okay, so you were saying that the judge was killed?” Dinah asks when Harry settles down.
“First things first. You cannot name me as a source. I will tell you what I know and I will tell you where you can authenticate what I am about to tell you, but you cannot name me. Is that okay?”
“Good. Have you seen the autopsy report of the judge?”
Harry pulls out a form from a brown A4 envelope and slides it to her.
“The judge did not die from the accident. His car was only slightly dented-you can confirm that from the yard at Spring Valley Police Station-and he only suffered minor lacerations. The judge died from an overdose of Viagra and sleeping pills.”
“That sounds like suicide to me.”
“Perhaps. But if he wanted to kill himself, he would have taken the sleeping pills from the comfort of his bed. He would have died peacefully in his sleep. He didn’t need the Viagra to die.”
“This report says that although there were traces of sleeping pills in his blood system, he died from a Viagra induced heart attack, not from an overdose of sleeping pills.”
“Correct. And who needs sleeping pills and Viagra together? And when he is about to drive? You need sleeping pills when you are about to sleep. You need Viagra when you are about to have sex. And if you want to kill yourself, an overdose of sleeping pills will give you a peaceful exit.”
“Maybe he didn’t want to die at home. Perhaps he didn’t want his wife to be a suspect of murder.”
“A hotel room would have done the trick.”
“Maybe he was actually in a hotel room. He took Viagra because he was waiting for a woman and then she did not show up. Then, because the Viagra was boiling his system, he decided to go home and try his luck with his wife. But he got a heart attack before he got his release.”
“And he took sleeping pills to assist him drive home safely I suppose?”
“Good point. I suspect you know what happened. Why don’t we go right to it?”
“The judge had a girlfriend he had been seeing for three months. He used to leave her apartment at precisely 11pm and used to drive straight home. That is precisely what happened on the night he died, only that he did not make it home. He left her apartment at 11pm and rammed into a fence just past the Total Petrol Station in Spring Valley.”
“Why would she give him Viagra and sleeping pills? You said it yourself. An overdose of sleeping pills would have been enough.”
Harry pushes a sachet towards her.
“This drug is called Philomadon. It is basically Viagra with traces of sleeping pills. It was originally designed as an enhanced Viagra, not only to give the man power where it counts, but also to give him the feel of drunken thrill. But it proved to be very lethal: it kills within minutes. Apparently the combination of Viagra and ordinary sleeping pills has a very explosive effect.”
“Then why wasn’t it pulled from the market? If you have it, then it means that it is easily accessible, right?”
“Yes. You can get it easily from pharmacies and agrovets. Someone discovered that it is very effective in getting rid of house vermin, from rats to cockroaches. Apparently it even annihilates drug-resistant bedbugs.”
“Okay, back to the girl. If she was sleeping with the judge, how would she benefit from his death? I mean, if I understand the way sponsorships work, then he was footing her bills. So she actually loses if he is dead.”
“True. Unless someone paid her to take him out.”
“Who do you think would do that?”
“This is where I declare my personal interest in the matter. But remember, you have to find a way of using the information I am going to give you next without revealing me as your source.
On the morning of the day the judge died, my brothers-in-law wanted to take over my wife’s company. My wife’s father split up his company twenty years ago and gave my wife’s brothers units to own and manage. He retained a small unit for the benefit of my wife, who was then a teenage high school student. She took over control of that unit ten years ago, and has grown it into a prosperous company.
Meanwhile, her brothers ran their units to the ground. When the old man died a few months ago, the brothers decided it was time to snatch the company from her. The matter wound up in court. They apparently bribed a judge and got a very suspicious judgment. I am my wife’s lawyer and I wasn’t notified that the judgment had been delivered. I was only informed minutes before the brothers attempted to force a vote to take over my wife’s company. I immediately instructed an associate from my office to run to court and get orders freezing the High Court judgment until we get a chance to appeal. Justice Ombot granted the orders, and we managed to stop the takeover.”
“So your brothers-in-law killed the judge?”
“It is more complicated than that. My wife’s eldest brother is married to Joan Musa, the heiress of the Musa Group of Companies. Musa Pharmaceuticals is the company that manufactures Philomadon. The judge’s mistress received five million shillings from the account from Madon Limited, which happens to be owned by Philowhiz Limited which in turn is owned by Musa Pharmaceuticals. The directors of both Madon Limited and Philowhiz are all dead, illiterate men and women from across the country who probably knew nothing about the companies. It took some digging to find the Musa connection.”
“How do you know all this?”
“I am not about to give up my sources. But all the documents are here in this envelope, including documentary proof of the money that the girl received. Use it however you wish but do not mention me. Okay?”
“Okay. But I will interview you in your office over that judgment that was delivered. I will only cover the basics that are in the public record. Is that okay?”
“That is fine.”
Harry can see that Dinah is very excited, so he feels obligated to add the next part.
“Be very careful, Dinah. These people are capable of killing a Court of Appeal judge, so a lowly journalist-no offence-will be piece of cake. I don’t want you to end up dead.”
On the way back to Nairobi, Harry cannot help thinking about his “sources”. The source of information that Harry has just given Dinah is Ken, a lawyer who works for the NIS, the country’s snooping agency. Harry and Sharon had argued for hours before she agreed to enlist his help. Sharon wanted nothing to do with the man, but Harry argued that he was their only hope in the battle against Joan and the Musa clan.
She knew he was right. Without Ken’s help, they stood no chance against Joan. Joan was playing dirty and most likely had a lot of intelligence on them. They needed something on her. But Harry also understood his wife’s reluctance. Ken was Sharon’s lover for four years.
Ken and Sharon had met while in first year. The University of Nairobi’s Parklands campus is tiny, and as a result its hostels could not accommodate all the students at once. For this reason, first year law students used to be hosted at the Business School in Lower Kabete. This is where Sharon and Ken met. Sharon was in business school while Ken was in law school. Harry would have been Ken’s classmate, but he was in Moi University.
The romance between Ken and Sharon was intense. They spent almost all their free time together. Sometimes they would even skip classes so that they could be together. They were the model couple around the two campuses.
The old man Lerian and his wife were tough Christian parents, and they were especially strict with Simon and Sharon because of Peter’s bad behavior. Simon did not help matters. Being the model child, he set the bar very high for young Sharon. She tried to follow his shoes. She was the Christian Union chairlady in High School, and the youth secretary in their church.
But her tender faith did not survive Ken. She lost her virginity to him three days after they started dating. They used protection, but somewhere along the way she was introduced to female contraceptives. But other than their sexual behavior, Ken and Sharon did not experiment with anything else that Sharon’s parents would have disapproved. They did not consume alcohol, they did not smoke and they did not try any hard drugs.
They even attended Christian Union services at Lower Kabete every Friday evening and Sunday mornings, but they resisted any attempts to make them active members. Sharon certainly wanted to, but she was afraid that the CU members would try to separate her from Ken.
They were happy. At least Sharon thought so. They were destined for marriage. In fact, by the time they got to the second semester of fourth year, Sharon had started window shopping for wedding dresses.
That is why she was so shocked when she discovered that he was cheating on her with her best friend Joy. When she confronted him, he dumped her and started dating Joy. At that time he was a pupil at a law firm in Upperhill, while she (Sharon) was an intern at her father’s company.
Harry had just been hired as a pupil by the law firm that handled Lerian’s transactions. Somehow, in the course of his work, he met Sharon and they became friends. He gave her a shoulder to lean on, and that is how he came to know about her relationship with Ken. By the time Ken and Joy got married later that year, Harry was already dating Sharon.
Harry smiles at the memory. He knows he made the right decision by marrying Sharon. He understands why Sharon didn’t want to meet her ex-lover, and he feels bad about convincing her to do it. But he knows it was the right thing to do. Thoughts about his wife make him smile, and he is still smiling when the taxi slows down. Two armed men enter, and the taxi exits the highway and joins a dirt road. Harry tries to talk, but the two armed men point their guns at him.
The moment Sharon reached out to him, Ken decided he wanted her back. He can still vividly remember the feel of her body intertwined to his. He shouldn’t have let her go. He shouldn’t have cheated on her. Joy was a mistake and she has brought nothing but misery to his life. He knows that he doesn’t really love Sharon. But the sex was great, and she respected him. Joy hasn’t allowed him to touch her for a year now, and he suspects that she is having an affair. When she is not yelling at him, she is giving him the silent treatment. He suspects that his life would have been much better if he had married Sharon. In addition, she comes from a wealthy family…
Unfortunately, Harry has not been a disaster for Sharon. He can tell that she is happily married. But if Harry is out of the picture, then maybe she might consider giving him a chance. He knows he can remind Sharon of the good times they had together. You cannot sleep with someone for four years and fail to leave a mark in her life.
He can have Harry killed and make it look like Joan did it. He has hired a private investigator to discreetly follow Harry around since the day Sharon reached out to him, so he knows where he is at every moment. Taking him out will therefore be easy. Harry’s death will make Sharon vulnerable, and he, Ken, will be right there, as her knight in shining armor. He will comfort her, and in the process make her his own once again.
[End of the free part of the story. To find out what happened to Harry and Sharon, follow the instructions below to purchase your copy of the novella.]
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