Murders Targeting Women And Children In Some Parts Of Kenya

By Waikwa Maina and Steve Njuguna

A spate of killings targeting women and children in Nyandarua and Laikipia counties has sent shivers down the spines of residents.

The murders follow a similar pattern — they happen past midnight and are executed by assailants who rarely steal anything.

In most cases, the victims are hacked to death. The murderous gang usually dig holes to access the houses where their victims are sleeping.

These senseless and brutal killings have been escalating since last year. The latest incident occurred at Gwa Kung’u, Karagoini sub-location, in Ndaragua. A woman and her seven-year-old son were hacked to death and their bodies set ablaze early Monday morning.

Police suspect that Ms Wairimu Mbogo, 30, was raped before she was murdered.

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Nyandarua County Police Commander Gideon Ngumi said the naked body of Ms Mbogo had severe cuts and deep wounds.

Her son, James Maina, was a Grade Two pupil at Muchinda Primary School.

Top on the police suspects’ list is Ms Mbogo’s estranged boyfriend, who villagers claim was seen leaving the house on Sunday evening

On Thursday last week, a woman and her daughter were killed by criminals who dug a hole to enter their house in Chakareli village, Ol Joro Orok constituency.

In the incident, another daughter and her cousin suffered serious injuries and are fighting for their lives at Nyahururu Sub-County Hospital.

Ms Eunice Muthoni, 30, and daughter Linnet Njeri, 13, were pronounced dead on arrival at Nyahururu Hospital.

Residents say the string of chilling murders that have rocked Nyandarua and Laikipia counties points to the existence of a gang of murderers for hire.

In the past five months, more than 15 killings have been reported, with the most affected areas being Ol Joro Orok and Ndaragwa constituencies in Nyandarua.

On March 25, Ms Alice Wanjiru, 23, was murdered in a similar manner in Gatumbiro village, Ol Joro Orok.

Unknown assailants entered her house via a tunnel they dug under the structure and hacked her to death with a machete.

A 57-year-old mother of 10 and her 15-year-old daughter escaped death three months ago when criminals dug a hole under their house in Kwa Major village in Weru, Ol Joro Orok, and entered their bedroom. They suffered knife injuries to their heads.

“We are disturbed by the unending murders; it appears the killings are done by a bloodthirsty gang for hire. Their mode of attack is similar — crushing the heads of their victims to ensure they do not survive,” said Mr Raphael Muchiri, a resident of Chakareli.

He said the killings started with the murder of Ms Mary Nyambura, a social worker with the Nyandarua County government, a short distance from her Heshima village home in November last year.

Police and local clerics said the recent killings are property-related, planned and executed by relatives.

Bishop John Kairu of Jesus Revival Centre said: “It is getting worse because people have nowhere to relieve their stress; they cannot go to churches or other social gatherings. These are the effects of family feuds that have been pilling over a long period, especially in troubled marriages and relationships”.

Local politicians, led by MPs Faith Gitau (Nyandarua woman rep), Michael Muchira (Ol Joro Orok) and Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa), have petitioned Police Inspector-General (IG) Hillary Mutyambai and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti to intervene.

“What is appalling is that in all these instances, no culprits have ever been arrested and successfully prosecuted. The residents are therefore living in fear of more attacks as the perpetrator(s) are roaming around freely,” reads an April 24 letter to the IG that was copied to the DCI.

Source: Daily Nation

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