Meru man kills father and stepmother, surrenders to police

Members of the public and family members gather at the home of the late Julius Kirimi who was hacked to death by his son alongside his wife.

Photo credit: David Muchui | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The suspect surrendered himself to the police after committing the heinous act.
  • He also surrendered a machete which the police believe was used in the double murder.

Police in Kiirua, Meru County are holding a security guard who hacked his father and stepmother to death on Thursday afternoon.

The tragic incident happened following a longstanding family dispute over land and water.

The suspect, who the police have identified as John Mwongera, surrendered himself to the police.

He also surrendered a machete which the police believe was used in the double murder.

According to the police, the deceased Julius Kirimi, 67, an ex-soldier, succumbed to cuts on the head, hand and shoulder while Eunice Kangai, 38, sustained fatal injuries on her neck, head and left hand.

Kibirichia location chief Miriam Karambu told the Nation that the family has had a longstanding dispute with several meetings having been held to settle the matter.

“I received reports on Thursday that Mwongera had killed his father and stepmother. I found the bodies lying in a pool of blood at their farm. The family has been in my office as well as police stations severally to resolve their disputes in vain,” Chief Karambu said.

Miriam Karambu

Kibirichia location chief Miriam Karambu speaks to the media on March 15, 2024 after a man and his wife were hacked to death by their son over a land dispute.

Photo credit: David Muchui | Nation Media Group

Mr Kinoti Rintari, the family spokesman, said a fight broke out Thursday afternoon when the deceased confronted his son at their farm.

“Mwongera was assisting his younger brother build a house nearby when their father confronted him and asked him to leave. They started fighting and the stepmother brought a panga to her husband. Unfortunately, the couple were killed,” Rintari said.

He said several attempts to resolve disputes in the family had failed due to the highhandedness of the deceased family man. 

Family members told the Nation that the land dispute intensified after their father took control of water whose costs were incurred by his son Mwongera.

“Our father had declared that anything within his land belongs to him. He had vowed to defend his property by all means,” one of the daughters said.

Mr Douglas Kirimi, a son of the deceased, said his brother had taken a loan of Sh200,000 to pay for the costs of installing the water at their home.

“Our father had promised to compensate the costs for installing the water with an extra piece of land but he changed his mind. This worsened the situation. Until last week, Mwongera was demanding water supply from our father,” Kirimi said.

Beth Karimi, the firstborn child of the deceased, said their father had threatened to sell the family land and render his sons landless.

“The problem started after our mother died in 2017. We have had meetings with Njuri Ncheke elders, family elders, lands officials, and the chief to resolve the disputes but our father remained adamant. He had threatened my brothers and we made reports to the police,” Ms Karimi said.

According to David Murianki, a nephew of the deceased man, a fresh dispute emerged this week when the suspect requested his father to give him access to the water he installed.