Four Arrested in Kenya Over Envoy's Murder
Police have arrested four workers after the top Venezuelan diplomat in Kenya was killed barely two weeks after coming to Nairobi.
Ms Olga Fonseca, who was the acting ambassador, was murdered in her Runda residence on Thursday night.
She took over on July 16 from Mr Gerarto da Silva, who left the country unceremoniously in May amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Nairobi police boss Anthony Kibuchi said they were also following other leads on the murder.
Other sources said Ms Fonseca had differences with her deputy over the embassy’s bank accounts.
The man was acting before she took over, and is said to have refused to cede control of finances to her as the signatory.
A senior CID officer told Nation that the deputy would be interrogated over the murder.
The body was found by guards after she failed to leave for work by 9am. Police said the body had been dragged from the living room to the bedroom where it was placed on the bed.
She was strangled with an electrical cable and her hands tied to the back.
Last Friday, the envoy’s domestic staff filed a complaint of unfair dismissal against her at the Diplomatic Police Unit in Gigiri.
They alleged that Ms Fonseca fired them after they refused to retract sexual harassment claims against Mr Silva.
Two male employees had accused the ambassador of sexual harassment.
“She (Ms Fonseca) came and forced us to apologise and say the claims against the former consular of Venezuela embassy, who was accused of sexual harassment of the staff, were all lies, and that we write an apology that we fabricated the story,” the staff said in a new complaint seen by the Nation and dated July 20.
It was signed by Mr Kevin Akodhe, Ms Leonida Khatenje, Mr Angelina Mwelewe, Ms Zipporah Khabukwi and Mr Francis Mwangi.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote to the employees’ lawyer, Mr Ngure Mbugua, earlier this month promising to launch “independent investigations” into the claims of sexual harassment.
On Wednesday, Ms Fonseca sacked five workers over alleged “insubordination”.
“They have been fired because they refused to retract the complaint. The new Charge d’Affaires has said they cannot continue working at the embassy because they have shown insubordination,” said Mr Mbugua.
“There is no way they can withdraw the complaint because that would amount to self-incrimination. They would appear to have given the police false information.”
The embassy’s assistant administrator, Mr Jose Rabell, declined to comment on the sackings.
“We will not be able to respond to you as we are currently administratively handling the matter. However, we reiterate that the Embassy and its Charge d’Affaires reserve the right to terminate the employment of local staff and we are in the process of doing the same,” he said.
Mr Mbugua said Ms Fonseca had not yet submitted her papers and could therefore not be officially acknowledged as a representative of the Venezuelan government in Kenya.
“We are challenging the authenticity of this lady because there is no official communication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledging her presence,” he said.
The body was taken from the residence, 317 Runda Groove, to the Lee Funeral Home.
Source: Daily Nation