Three arrested in Kirinyaga for killing two brothers in case of mistaken identity

Angry residents

Angry residents when they halted the burial of two brothers at Kiamanyeki village in Kirinyaga County and dumped bodies at Wang'uru police station.

Photo credit: George Munene I Nation Media Group

Two teachers and a member of Nyumba Kumi Initiative have been arrested in connection with the brutal killing of two brothers at Gategi in Embu County.

The suspects were seized at their respective homes on Monday evening and locked up at the local police station for questioning.

Mwea Sub-County police boss Chrispinus Ogutu said the suspects were being probed over the killings which sparked off protests at the neighbouring Kiamanyeki village in Kirinyaga County.

The arrests came a day after the area Deputy County Commissioner Jane Mapene promised to have those implicated in the macabre killings arrested.

The DCC said it was sad that two lives were lost and apologised to the family and Kirinyaga residents.

She warned Mwea residents against taking the law into their hands, reminding them that suspects were supposed to be handed over to the police for prosecution.

She assured the family that justice will be done and urged them to be patient.

"Those who caused the deaths of the brothers will not go unpunished," she said on Monday at Gategi market during a security meeting convened to discuss the matter.

On Saturday, chaos erupted as angry Kiamanyeki residents halted the burial of the slain brothers, demanding that justice first be done.

The residents rose in protest, vowing that they would not allow the brothers, Joseph Ndung'u, 35, and Kennedy Gitau, 28, to be buried until their killers were apprehended and prosecuted.

Family members

The residents forcibly took the casket containing the bodies of the brothers from family members who were preparing to give their loved ones a sendoff and trekked for six kilometres to Wang'uru police station and dumped them there in protest.

The residents then camped at the station and swore not to leave until their demands were met.

They engaged anti-riot police in a bitter argument which degenerated into a physical confrontation.

The officers engaged the residents in running battles, causing tension in the area.
The police officers hurled tear gas canisters at the stone-throwing crowd. Eventually, the residents were overpowered and chased away.

Later, the bodies of the brothers were taken back to the Embu referral hospital mortuary.

The brothers were killed in Gategi after the residents mistook them for criminals.

They were murdered in cold blood and their bodies burnt beyond recognition.

The victims' motorcycle was also torched by the attackers who comprised some members of the Nyumba Kumi Initiative.

Family members said their sons were mistaken for criminals and cruelly hacked to death.

"Our sons were innocent and we are crying for justice together with the residents from this area," one of the family members said.

Embu County Assembly Majority leader Peter Muriithi and his Kirinyaga county Daniel Kibinga said the brothers were innocent people who should not have been eliminated.

"Mwea residents mistakenly killed the wrong people and we are sorry for what happened," said Mr Muriithi.

The two leaders told the police not to leave any stone unturned.