Youth 'tortured' by chief died of internal bleeding, post-mortem shows

Moses Njue

Chief Government Pathologist Dr Moses Njue during a past event. 

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

A 26-year-old man who was allegedly tortured to death by two chiefs and community policing Nyumba Kumi officials in Antubociu, Meru County, died of extensive internal bleeding, a post-mortem has revealed.

Former Chief Government Pathologist Moses Njue said Eric Muriira was beaten with blunt objects on the lower and upper limbs, causing bleeding in the muscles and under the skin.

He also had injuries on his back and head.

Speaking at Nyambene Hospital mortuary after conducting the post-mortem, Dr Njue concluded that Muriira died in agony after losing a lot of blood.

"Sometimes the people who do this know what they are trying to hide, so they know where to hit and where not to hit. That is enough to kill anyone, even an elephant.

"The sequence of events is that once you lose that amount of blood, you go into shock because you have no blood in your body. The cause of death is extensive bleeding into the skin and muscles as a result of blunt force trauma," he said.

Dr Njue, who works with the Independent Medico Legal Unit (Imlu), represented the family of the deceased, while Nyambene Level Four

Hospital Medical Superintendent Githu Wachira represented the State.

Muriira's mother, Ms Rose Makena, who saw the body for the first time since the death on May 23, appealed for justice for her son.

The single mother of three said her son had left behind two children under the age of seven.

"My son is obedient and was never involved in criminal activities. The death was uncalled for and the government should ensure that justice is done," she said.

Found dumped

Muriira's body was found dumped in the ditch in Karama, Igembe Central sub-county, a day after he and three others were allegedly tortured.

Mr Gerald Murimi, 15, Fredrick Kaigongi, 21, and Dennis Mutegi, 18, suffered various injuries. They still complain of pain and have visible scars.

They said they were rounded up by the chiefs and Nyumba Kumi elders in Ndula village on suspicion of stealing a chief's goat.

They were then frog-marched to the Antubociu chief's camp, where they were beaten with clubs and small wooden planks while being forced to confess to stealing the goat on May 23.

Mr Murimi said the attackers stripped them of their pants and shirts and poured water over them to keep them awake.

After the prolonged torture, Muriira collapsed and became unresponsive, forcing the assailants to release the other three.

Later, residents reportedly saw a vehicle belonging to a known officer leaving the compound at dusk as the search for Muriira began.

His body was later found more than 10 kilometres from the chief's camp.

Police arrested Antubociu chief Stella Karuma and her deputy Benson Mwiti, who are being held at Maua police station. They are expected to appear in court on June 12.

According to Ms Vickyline Kiende, who witnessed the torture, the surviving victims had difficulty walking and were bleeding on their faces.