Shop errand that ended in the death of bright KCPE candidate

Kennedy Maluni

Kennedy Maluni who went missing after he was sent to the shops on August 23, 2023, and found dead the next day.

Photo credit: Pool

When Margaret Mbithe sent her 14-year-old son Kennedy Maluni to the shop at around 8pm, her family expected it to be a normal task.

But, that would be the last time she would see him alive.

After failing to return home past 10pm on that fateful August 23, Ms Mbithe decided to start searching for him.

"I was suspicious of why my son did not return home as it was unlike him. When we failed to trace him, in the morning I visited the area village elder who then advised me to report the matter to Jomvu Kuu Police Station," says Ms Mbithe.

Kennedy Maluni's mother Margaret Mbithe (centre) speaks at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital in Mombasa.

Photo credit: Pool

The family lives in the Mwamlai area in Jomvu Sub-County in Mombasa.

The report was booked at the Jomvu police station at around 7.10am.

While returning from the station, Ms Mbithe says neighbours informed her that there was a young boy's body found within the area.

"I rushed there only to find the body of my son lying lifeless and in a pit," says Ms Mbithe.

According to preliminary investigation reports, Maluni was first attacked by three boys of his age-set who beat him up, before three others appeared with machetes and slashed him.

Mwamlai residents complained that young people between the ages of 13 and 24 in the area are deep into drug abuse with security personnel doing little to stop it.

A close security source privy to the investigations said the Jomvu Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) launched investigations into the matter and are pursuing some identified suspects.

The investigator noted that one of the suspects' movements has been tracked towards a border point and there are fears he might escape the country anytime.

Maluni was to sit for his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in a few weeks.

Mr Juma Lubambo, the Director of Vision of Hope Education Centre in Mwamlai, where the boy went to school, described Maluni as a bright student who carried the school's hopes and they believed he would score above 350 marks.

A casket bearing the body of Kennedy Maluni at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital morgue.

Photo credit: Pool

Mr Lubambo said Maluni’s body was located approximately 500 metres from the school, the same path he regularly uses when going to school.

A post-mortem conducted at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital revealed that Maluni had deep machete cuts on the head, neck, hands and abdomen.

Ms Mbithe has urged police to speed up the investigations. She alleged that her son's attackers are well known, claiming they are boys live within the area.

"The insecurity in this area is a major concern and should immediately be addressed. We are living in fear, if my son of 14 years was attacked and killed then how do I get the courage to send any of my other children to the shop again?" said a tearful Ms Mbithe, a single mother of four children.

Ms Elizabeth Musembi, a Nyumba Kumi ambassador in a neighbouring village of Chamunyu, says they have raised concerns several times about the insecurity of the area, and whenever they report the cases they are informed investigations are launched yet there are no results.

Muslims for Human Rights Rapid Response Officer Francis Auma called for government intervention, saying that gang attacks at the Coast have become rampant.

"This is a very worrying trend. We request police to move with speed and arrest the people who conducted this inhumane attack. Whether they are young or adults they should face the law so that they are a lesson to others," he said.