Violet Kemunto: Unmasking wife of key terror suspect in Riverside attack


Violet Kemunto: Unmasking wife of key terror suspect in Riverside attack
Violet Kemunto, who is alleged to have been married to one of the suspects of the 14 Riverside terror attack, Ali Salim. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • The woman identified as Violet Kemunto Omwoyo is in police custody after she was arrested in Mucatha, Ruaka, Kiambu County at a house where one of the attackers, Ali Salim Gichunge, is said to have been living.
  • Police sources disclosed to Citizen Digital that it had been established that Kemunto was allegedly married to Gichunge for one year.

New details continued to emerge about the assailants who staged a terror attack at the 14 Riverside Drive in Nairobi, killing 21 people and injuring scores of others.

Citizen Digital on Thursday obtained an image of the woman said to have been living with one of the main terror suspects in the Riverside attack.

The woman identified as Violet Kemunto Omwoyo is in police custody after she was arrested in Mucatha, Ruaka, Kiambu County at a house where one of the attackers, Ali Salim Gichunge, is said to have been living.

Detectives say Kemunto had been living with Gichunge for about a year, and was referring to herself as an ‘Alshabaab bride’.

The woman, who police are treating as a key suspect, is said to have pursued a degree in Journalism at Masinde Muliro University where she graduated in 2014.

She was an accredited scribe by the Media Council of Kenya.

Citizen Digital also understands that Kemunto’s alleged husband, Gichunge, is suspected to have been leading the operation at 14 Riverside from outside and providing the terrorists with information during the course of the attack.

According to police, Gichunge was not among the terror suspects who were killed.

He was arrested and upon interrogation, led the police to arrest nine more suspects even as others linked to the incident remain at large.

Gichunge’s mother, Sakina Mariam, is also in police custody.

Gichunge was born in 1995 in Isiolo County where he attended Hekima Primary School before proceeding to Kibiricha Secondary School.

Sources claim that the four gunmen who stormed the Dusit complex on Tuesday afternoon spent the previous night at Gichunge’s house.

The house No E9 located at the Guango Estate in Mucatha, attracted monthly rent of Ksh.40,000, according to police reports.

Sources also revealed that police discovered a hole inside the house where weapons had been stashed.

A witness who claims to have been living next-door described the attacker as a friendly man who was cordial with his neighbours but was rarely at home.

The neighbours also described Kemunto as a reserved woman who always covered her face with a hijab.

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Story By Ian Omondi
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