Murang’a widow, 5 children die in suspected arson attack

Murang'a County Police Commander Ali Nuno

Murang'a County Police Commander Ali Nuno speaks on April 10, 2022 in Kandara, Murang'a County at the home where six family members were killed in a suspected arson attcak

Photo credit: Nation Media Group

Six members of one family have been burnt to death in a suspected arson attack in Makenji, Kandara in Murang’a County.

A widow, Mary Wangui Njoroge (60), her three children — Cecilia Gathoni (30) Lucy mumbi (18) Margaret Wanja (15) — and two grandchildren — Jackline Wambui (7) and Alvin kiarie (3) — were Sunday morning burnt beyond recognition when the house they were sleeping in was set on fire by unknown people.

Murang'a County Police Commander Ali Nuno on Sunday said that the motive of the arson attack was yet to be known, but investigations point to a family dispute.

He said one suspect, Ms Alice Nyambura, who is a sister of Ms Njoroge, is in custody and is being interrogated.

"We have sought assistance from the DCI homicide and forensics departments as we commence investigations. One person is in custody assisting us with investigations," Mr Nuno said.

Family of six killed in suspected arson attack

Locked house from outside

Initial investigations showed that the arsonists locked the house from outside, doused it with petrol and set it ablaze at 1am Sunday.

Loud screams and thick smoke from the inferno woke up villagers but their efforts to put out the fire were futile due to the intensity of the flames.

According to Mr Ndung'u Wakahungu, the suspect in police custody is said to have quarrelled with Ms Njoroge whose children she claimed had stolen her phone and that the issue escalated to a fight that was sorted out at Kabati Police Station.

Ms Rebecca Wambui, a relative of Ms Njoroge, confirmed that there had been family wrangles for a long time. She condemned the heinous act and called on the police to speed up investigations and ensure legal action is taken against the perpetrators.