Nairobi women spending millions on detectives to track cheating husbands
He was one of the trusted informers of former CID director Joseph Dominic Kamau, who introduced him to the art of spying.
Festus Obare is now among the few private investigators in Nairobi, fulfilling his dream in a profession that is not popular among Kenyans.
In 2006, the dream was temporary shattered when Kamau was unceremoniously retired following a raid on Standard Media Group offices by government mercenaries.
Kamau’s successor, the late Simon Gatiba, dismantled the web of informers his predecessor had built for five years while at the helm.
During this time Obare enjoyed a close rapport with the Kanga crack Squad credited for infiltrating and suppressing hardcore criminal rings. The elite unit, which was the foundation of some rare successes in the police force, was the brainchild of Kamau.
Despite making radical changes in the CID to rid the force of the past, Gatiba helped Obare develop professionally.
He introduced Obare to a detective college in the US. Through correspondence, the 48-year-old and father of three studied private investigations at Foster Career School to earn a diploma.
During his training, he learnt skills in general detective work such as surveillance, undercover operations, homeland security and executive protection.
After his graduation, together with Isaac Magara – the elder brother of former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara – they formed the Vision Bureau of Investigation.
It was not long before the ageing Magara – a retired National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) spy – quit, leaving Obare in charge.
From then on, Obare carried out assignments on behalf of individual clients, companies, law firms and the police. The former government spy told The Nairobian that private investigation in Nairobi has so far proved a lucrative business.
“Most of the time I am engaged in investigations about cheating couples with women being the majority of my clients,” says Obare.
Last year, he was hired to spy on behalf of the brother of a prominent Asian businessman. The man wanted to marry a second wife – a proposal the first wife declined on grounds that her prospective co-wife was unfaithful.
After a month, the wife’s fears were proven right following a successful espionage that uncovered the hidden side of the woman who was found in a comprising position with another man.
Obare pocketed Sh600,000 for a job well done besides winning the trust of the prominent family.
He receives at least two assignments on cheating couples per month.
He is currently on the trails of a city hotelier accused by the wife, a banker, of cheating.
The job took him to Kisumu last week, where the man was having a good time with his fiancé in one of the hotels.
“The job is not yet over because I have to tie some loose ends before presenting the incriminating evidence to my client,” said the private eye, crediting his success to Kamau.
In 2011, Obare helped Mathew and Harris Advocates trace a defaulter. The same year, he was hired by Uchumi supermarket in a land case in Kasarani.
Last year, he helped Ruai Police Station hunt down a fraudster who sold a Sh6.2 million piece of land illegally.
Before he joined the CID he had volunteered as a police informer.
Previously, he had operated a drycleaner shop and then became a data collector for Research International between 1998 and 2002.