Youthful teacher beaten up in Murang'a on blackout night was murdered: report

Andrew Njiru Mwangi.

The late Andrew Njiru Mwangi. He was allegedly beaten by villagers during the Friday, August 25, night nationwide blackout. His body was later found dumped in Sagana River.

Photo credit: Pool

Newly hired teacher Andrew Njiru, whose body was found on August 30 dumped in Sagana River in Murang'a County after going missing for three days, was murdered, his post-mortem report reads.

The report by Dr Kamotho Watenga at the Murang'a County mortuary states that Mr Njiru died of severe head injuries that fractured his skull, occasioning him acute trauma.

“He also had internal bleeding that occasioned critical organs failure,” the report reads. “The body had signs of decomposition after staying for some time in a water body.”

The teacher was buried on September 6 in an emotional send-off that was marked by calls for justice for the deceased.

35-year-old Njiru from Embu County had been employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) in July and was to report to Rutune Primary School in Kiharu constituency, Murang'a on September 1.

In preparation for his new work station, Mr Njiru rented a house near the school, a few days before he was due to report to the institution.

But, on August 27 night during the countrywide power blackout that the government attributed to collapse of the national grid, he was attacked and killed.

“After the power outage, Njiru moved from his house at around 9.30pm to go and buy a candle to light his rental room. But being new and unfamiliar with area paths, he missed his new compound as he returned and ventured into his neighbours’ [compound],” his father, Mr William Mwangi, told Nation.Africa.

“The post-mortem has now vindicated my sources,” said the father who had gone in search of his son when he went missing and had gathered information from neighbours that his son was attacked after being mistaken for a thief.

“My son's body was in bad shape and had been stored in a body bag since it could not been preserved normally through embalming owing to the messy head and decomposition,” Mr Mwangi said.

“I do not want to speak about this incident since it is traumatising to imagine the magnitude of pain that my son suffered as he got clobbered on the head until it completely flattened.”

Mr Mwangi said Murang'a Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had told asked him to wait for the post-mortem report to guide next cause of action. “The report is now out and it explains that my son was murdered through brute force.”

“Just about the time my son's God had come through for him by blessing him with a job he had lobbied for in 12 years, some crooks in Murang'a visit his turning point with…murder,” he said.

Mr Mwangi added that his son was in high spirits and had promised to work diligently and also pursue higher education.

“He had promised to become a role model of a responsible and progressive professional and invest in real [estate] and transport industries,” he said.

According to Murang'a East police boss Mary Kasyoki, the matter is now under active investigations and a defined cause of action will soon be communicated.

“We have a competent DCI that is dealing with the emergent scenes so far,” she said.

“We will trace his last moments and define all activities that led to him ending up dead and inside a river. Investigations are never easy and it should be clear to all that we are doing our best to get to the bottom of this matter,” Ms Kasyoki added.

According to investigative notes at the Murang'a County Security Committee that Nation.Africa has seen, some neighbours said they witnessed Mr Njiru being murdered.

When Nation.Africa visited the village to gather witness statements, James Kamau, a neighbour, said, “We were woken up by a man screaming in distress. We ventured out...we were about 10 and we heard the commotion to be in a neighbour's compound. We could only hear voices saying the man was new in the village, could not identify himself and was a thief.”

Mr Kamau said they went to see what was happening and they saw Mr Njiru on the ground, bleeding.

He said the attackers were two well-known brothers who are relatives to an administrator. The brothers appeared apprehensive when curious neighbours came to their compound to see what was going on and the man they had attacked was on the ground and looked lifeless.

“As we retreated back to our houses, we had advised the two to ensure they either took their victim to the hospital or to a police station instead of waiting for more complications should he succumb in the vicinity,” he said.

Neighbours claimed that a car was driven to the scene at around midnight.

The following morning, Mr Njiru was not in his house and was not at the place where he was last seen after the attack.

“We went to the nearby police stations and hospitals and he was not there. We reported him missing at Murang'a police station and also put up an appeal on social media for help to trace him,” his father, Mr Mwangi, told Nation.Africa then.

After three days, villagers who had gone to fetch water at River Sagana near Gicagi village saw a floating body trapped by rocks and informed the police who showed up and retrieved it. It was later identified as the missing teacher.

“It is painful. I don't know whether I will ever heal or forgive this village...An employment blessing has turned out to be a curse; a family tragedy,” Mr Mwangi said.