Police are investigating the lynching of two brothers by a mob at Gategi village in Embu County on Sunday. The bodies of the two men were burnt beyond recognition during the 2 am attack. Their motorcycle was destroyed.
Mwea Sub-County police boss Emmanuel Kiplang'at said detectives have begun investigations to establish the motive behind the killing of the two brothers.
"This case will be thoroughly investigated because sometimes innocent people have been eliminated," said Mr Kiplang'at, adding that the two bodies were taken to Embu Referral Hospital mortuary.
Witnesses said that villagers accused the two brothers of being members of a gang that had been terrorising residents and stealing their livestock.
They then set upon the two with machetes and clubs, killing them on the spot before they doused the bodies in petrol and set them on fire. The two men hailed from Kiamanyeki village Kirinyaga County.
Mr Kiplang'at said the incident occurred shortly after two teachers were attacked as they returned home after attending a night party.
"We are getting reports that the teachers raised an alarm after they were attacked by machete-wielding criminals before they were rescued by the villagers," said Mr Kiplang'at.
Kiamanyeki village residents said the two brothers might have been mistaken to be criminals.
"The two men had travelled to Gatawa in Mbeere to clear the balance of payment for a piece of land they had bought when they met their death. The young men were good people," said Mr Joseph Mwangi, a village elder.
Makima Senior Chief Charles Ngari said the brothers were attacked and killed after they failed to identify themselves.
''They were confronted by the residents who challenged them to identify themselves and say where they were going at night but they failed to do so. It was then that the residents attacked and killed them," the chief said.
The administrator noted that cases of cattle rustling were on the rise in the area and residents had been keeping vigil to apprehend criminals.
"The residents may have mistaken the brothers for cattle rustlers," said Mr Ngari.
He, however, cautioned the residents against taking the law into their hands, saying suspects should be handed over to the police for questioning and prosecution.