Boy, 16, dies after mob justice attack

A relative holds the picture of Anthony Munene Gitonga which was taken during the attack by an onlooker.

Photo credit: Charles Wanyoro | Nation Media Group

A family in Meru is calling for justice for their 16-year-old boy who died after he was attacked by angry villagers on suspicion of stealing miraa.

Anthony Munene Gitonga, a Standard Seven pupil, died three days after he was accosted by a local teacher and his sons and subjected to a lengthy torture.

A post-mortem report showed that the boy died of ruptured intestines and head injuries.

A video and still photographs later emerged showing the pupil being tied with ropes and his neck laced with a tyre. The attackers clobbered him until he passed out.

Ms Elizabeth Kangai, the boy’s grandmother, said Munene was taken to a local hospital and was referred to Meru Level Five Hospital where he succumbed to the injuries three days later.

“I was shocked to see how they treated him like an animal. They tied him with ropes and beat him up. I have reported to the police but no action has been taken,” said Ms Kangai.

The boy’s uncle, Harrison Mwenda, said they were being threatened by the family of the suspected killers since they are rich and influential in the community.

“They are now threatening us and saying no action will be taken against them. We urge the government and any institution that helps people pursue justice to help us,” he said.

Mr Mwenda disputed that the boy had stolen miraa as alleged.

“He was just ambushed on the road and accused of stealing miraa,” Mr Mwenda said.

He added: “Even if he had stolen, he should have been taken to the police. He was a young boy who would have reformed if at all he had committed any crime,” he said.

A post-mortem conducted on Thursday in presence of family members and two police officers from Maua police station indicated the boy died of the injuries he sustained.

The boy was laid to rest in Kiengu.