Human rights group calls for expeditious probe into Nakuru activist's murder


Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Nakuru Human Rights Network demands a thorough probe into the murder.
  • Prior to his death, the activist is said to have received numerous threats from politicians.

The Nakuru Human Rights Network (Nahurinet) has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police and the Director of Criminal Investigations to intervene and expeditiously investigate the gruesome murder of Njoro-based activist Paul Ndirangu Kioi, 35, in December last year.

Mr Kioi was killed by unknown persons and his body found floating in River Ndarugu on December 8, 2020.

Nahurinet director David Kuria, in a letter to police IG Hillary Mutyambai and DCI boss George Kinoti, has demanded a thorough probe into the murder.

"We want the DCI and the IG to intervene and expedite investigations into the murder to have the culprits arrested and charged in court," said Mr Kuria in the letter.

"It is not clear why the investigations are not being conducted as expected since the murder occurred. Mr Kioi's killers are still at large. The investigations must be expedited to ensure that the killers and the masterminds of his death are brought to justice," said Mr Kuria.

Prior to his death, according to Mr Kuria, the activist had received numerous threats from politicians who accused him of portraying them in a bad light.

"Mr Kioi was a man living in fear after he received threats from people well known to him. He made reports at the Njoro Police Station days before his body was found in River Ndarugu," Mr Kuria revealed to the Nation.

His family also confirmed that he had reported the threats to Njoro Police Station prior to his death.

"Before he met his death, my son had earlier in November reported to the police that his life was in danger after he received threats against his life,” said his father John Kioi.

His family revealed that he had at least twice reported to the police that his life was in danger under OB numbers 85/28/2/2020 and 11/23/05/2020 at Njoro Police Station.

However, his father said the case took a different twist as those he had complained against turned him into a suspect slightly over a week to his death and he was arrested and then released.

Death threats

Records at the Njoro Police Station attest to Mr Kioi's arrest and subsequent release after he paid a Sh5,000 police bond.

Police said the activist was arrested after he made similar death threats to the complainants.

He was to report back to the police on December 4, but he went missing and his body was found three days later floating in River Ndarugu.

Preliminary investigations indicated that Mr Kioi was attacked and badly injured before his body was dumped into the river.

A post-mortem report signed by Dr Wangari Wambugu revealed that the activist was assaulted with a blunt object on his head and strangled.

"He was hit with a blunt object at the back of his head and strangled," reads the report which was seen by the Nation.

According to Njoro Sub-County Police Commander Jonathan Kisaka, there were no signs of struggle at the crime scene where his body was found.

Mr Kisaka said that when the body was retrieved, blood was oozing from his mouth and ears, which made police suspect it was a case of murder.

Detectives have been tracing his last moments which indicate he left his house on his own on the afternoon of December 7 to collect some money but never returned.

"He left his phone on the table at his home. His TV and radio were still on. He went to Njoro market and later to a miraa joint. He was last seen in the town at 6pm that evening before his body was found on December 8,” a senior detective who sought anonymity told the Nation.

Investigators believe Mr Kioi might have been lured to a location where he spent more time until darkness fell before his assailants executed him.

They said they have already interrogated his last contacts in a bid to nail his killers.

However, human rights activists and family feel that the investigations are slow.

His social media posts paint a picture of a man who feared for his life and desperately wanted the public to know that some people were after his life.

For instance, in one of the social media posts prior to his death, he wrote: "My enemies do not sleep. Like determined dragons they are awake to cause harm."

In December, human rights activists and residents of Njoro led by former MP Joseph Kiuna held protests in the town and demanded speedy investigations into the killing.


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