The Star (Nairobi)

10 November 2012

Kenya: Woman Denies Bid to Con Her Husband

A Murang'a woman was on Friday charged with conspiring with her sister to get Sh500,000 from her husband. Ann Kabura was accused of giving false information to the police. She denied the charges before senior principal magistrate Elizabeth Osoro.

The mother of two claimed she and her son were given a lift by a woman from a supermarket to their home, which is about 100 metres from where she claims they were abducted.

She was released on a Sh200,000 bond and a surety of a similar amount. However, the magistrate ordered that she remains in remand if she fails to raise the bond.

The court was also adjourned in the middle of the session after the accused, who had at first pleaded guilty, sought for time to talk to her family.

"Your hounour, I beg for one hour to talk to my family before the court issues its ruling," she pleaded with the magistrate. When the court resumed, Kabura requested it to take the plea again and she pleaded not guilty.

The court heard that on Monday, Kabura called his husband John Kihonge telling him she and her son had been kidnapped by a strange woman and another man while shopping at a supermarket near Mukuyu market.

The court also heard that Kabura called the husband for the second time informing him that the abductors were demanding Sh500, 000 from him to secure their release.

The charge sheet also indicated that when Kihonge called his wife's home again the phone was answered by a man who told him he had kidnapped his wife and son and that he should give Sh500, 000 for them to be released safely.

Kihonge said he immediately reported the matter to the police in an effort to save his family from the abductors. During an interview with the Star the man who is a motor vehicle broker broke down into tears at the memories of the psychological trauma his wife took him through in her quest to get easy cash.

"I told them I could not even afford Sh10, 000 but pleaded with the man not to harm my family,"Kihonge said tearfully. He said he was shocked to realise it was a covertly executed plan in which the wife of 12 years in marriage planned to swindle him.

However Kabura's sister Phyllis Njeri exposed the secret but attempted to absolve herself from the blame saying she was not part of the cartel.

"She said she wanted to fake her abduction and force her husband to give the money but I cautioned her against the idea but she went ahead with it," said Njeri. She said Kabura shared with her what she wanted to do in order to get the money from her husband.

"My sister visited me at Kabati on Monday night at around 9.00 pm and told me her husband Kihonge had lots of money and plots yet he was not ready to part with it and was drinking all over," said Njeri as she cuddled her two weeks old infant.

CID officers traced Kabura's phone signal to Gichohi village of Kakuzi division in Kabati area on the Murang'a-Thika highway where she was hiding at her sister's home she awaited the money to be delivered. Police are also looking for others who were involved in the racket.

At the same time Murang'a County Commissioner Kula Hache has cautioned residents against such forms of crimes. She said police were also investigating another such case in which a 64-year-old woman was abducted several weeks ago at Kongo-ini village and the family gave a Sh120, 000 ransom before she was released saying the incident was also suspect.

She cautioned the residents against such crimes adding that the crimes were causing panic in the area and at the same time scaring investors.

The County at the same time warned residents against to fundraising in order to pay abductors as the family of the 64-year-old woman did. "If you are caught contributing for criminals you will also be arrested and charged in court," she warned.

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