Thursday, November 03, 2022
NAIROBI: Journalist Arshad Sharif stayed in the penthouse of an apartment building in Nairobi owned by brothers Waqar Ahmed and Khurram Ahmed, Geo News investigation showed.
The building, located in a highly secure and relatively affluent area of Nairobi, has over 24 luxury flats occupied by private tenants. It’s understood that Waqar and Khurram reserved the penthouse exclusively for Sharif, where the slain journalist stayed for over two months before his tragic killing some three hours out of Nairobi in a deserted area.
It’s the same penthouse from where Sharif did his vlogs as he was using YouTube to air his views after being removed from his job at a private channel.
The penthouse building has been visited by investigators who met Waqar at the site for several hours and questioned him about Sharif’s routine and what both the brothers knew about the journalist's stay.
Khurram and Waqar are originally from Karachi and both own and run several property projects in Nairobi. They also own a farmhouse and firing range some 300 hours out of the capital where Sharif was last seen before his death.
The role of both the brothers is at the centre of the investigation by both Pakistani and Kenya investigators.
Sharif provided details of the same penthouse apartment to the police when he obtained a visa for Kenya. He told the immigration authorities that he will be staying at the same apartment as it was owned by his main sponsor — Waqar. Sharif’s sponsor had sent an invitation to Sharif at the request of a British Pakistani businessman based in Dubai.
The apartment is located off a road just 10 minutes from the Pakistan High Commission in Nairobi. This location is known to the local Pakistani and Indian community and it is widely known that Waqar and his brother had developed the building. The building is located next to a huge tower owned by an Indian businessman. In the neighbourhood, mostly foreigners, well-off professionals and middle-class people either own or rent out flats.
The entry to the building is by invitation only and no one is allowed beyond the gate unless the flat owners permit so. The reception is manned by at least three armed security guards.
Geo News sent questions to both brothers but they are yet to respond to them. However, their lawyer stressed that Sharif was killed in case of mistaken identity.
“The Kenya police issued a statement and regretted the shooting as a case of mistaken identity. That’s all we know for now. The investigations are still ongoing and our clients are fully cooperating with the investigation,” Waqar and Khurram’s lawyer Daniel Kiragu told Geo News.
However, this is not an account many in Kenya and Pakistan are willing to believe. The Kenyan police contradicted its statement by first saying that Sharif was killed in a case of mistaken identity, but later it alleged that shots were fired at the police from inside Sharif’s car and he was killed when the response unit fired back.
After arriving in the Kenyan Capital, the Geo News investigation team revealed that Sharif’s visit visa to Kenya was sponsored and he did not enter the East African country via a visa on arrival. The letter by the investigators also confirmed what Geo News had reported.