Francis Michuki, the son of former Internal Security minister John Michuki, who died in February 2012 is amongst those under investigations in the death of Sudhir Shah, 68-year old Thika businessman who was on Saturday shot by a gunman riding a motorcycle on Saturday afternoon near a vast coffee plantation along the Thika Superhighway as he and his associates chatted.
According to reports, the family of the slain businessman believe that the Sh3B land deal that he went to negotiate, was a trap used by his associates to lure him to the death trap.
His widow Taruna Shah and nephew Jitan Shah said they believed the meeting that had been planned to negotiate a land deal was a set-up. They did not, however, disclose by whom.
“Sudhir was the one managing the coffee farm for over 11 years after he closed down his motor vehicle spare parts shop in Thika to concentrate on the Ndarugo farm,” said the widow.
Sudhir co-owned Ndarugo Plantation 1960 Limited in Juja with five other directors and the family said the deal involved the sale of 150 acres.
Mr Shah, a father of two, was shot in the neck and at the back of his shoulder and was pronounced dead on arrival at Thika Central Memorial Hospital.
At the time of the shooting, Mr Shah was with his co-director Francis Michuki, the latter’s bodyguard Jesse Kariuki and five potential investors. Francis is the son of former Internal Security minister John Michuki, who died in February 2012.
“His death is suspect. Why him? No one else was injured during the shoot-out. Mr Michuki had a bodyguard and we are told he fired back when the two gunmen had left,” Jitan said, referring to reports a police officer assigned to one of the co-directors had engaged the attackers.
The initial plan was to set up a special economic zone in the area that would host industries and go-downs. It is said this was the first meeting with the investors and unfortunately the last that Shah had to attend.
According to the wife’s account of events, the businessman woke up at 6.30am and left his home at Section Nine in Thika to a temple in town. Thereafter, he drove to Ndarugo for the meeting.
After the meeting at the offices of Ndarugo Plantation 1960 Limited on Saturday, the group had driven out in a convoy of three vehicles. They parked next to the plantation.
A police report indicated that they were accosted by two suspects who were riding a motorcycle of unknown registration number.
“One of them was armed with a pistol and ordered everyone to lie on the ground. But the officer (Michuki’s bodyguard) defied the order after seeing one of the suspects was armed with a pistol. He took cover and started firing at them, who fired back. The suspects were overwhelmed and sped off without robbing the victims,” states the report.
In trying to piece it all up and find the killers and conspirators, detectives from the DCI who visited the scene on Sunday, confiscated mobile phones of all the eight people who were with Mr Shah for forensic analysis.
Mr Michuki’s bodyguard has also reportedly surrendered his gun.
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