Family cries for justice as neighbour kills man over borrowed wheelbarrow in Siaya

A man was beaten to death in Ugunja, Siaya County, after he reportedly borrowed a neighbour’s wheelbarrow but failed to return it, prompting the owner to take the law into his own hands.

The family of a man beaten to death in Imbaya village, Ugunja Siaya County, for failing to return a borrowed wheelbarrow want justice for their relative.

Mason Gabriel Wekele, 44, reportedly borrowed a neighbour’s wheelbarrow but failed to return it, prompting the owner to take the law into his own hands.

In an amateur cellphone video that has gone viral on social media, a group of people are seen beating Mr Wekele, asking him to tell them where the wheelbarrow was.

The neighbour was annoyed that Mr Wekele had not returned the wheelbarrow and started beating him, said the dead man’s brother, Stephen Omondi

“The neighbour seized my brother and tied him up with ropes. They came to me, accusing him of selling the wheelbarrow that he had borrowed. I told them to allow him to look for it and if he fails, then I would ensure that we pay,” Mr Omondi said.

He added: “They went together looking for the wheelbarrow. When they failed to find it, they descended on my brother with beatings. I got information late from some Good Samaritans who had found him unconscious.”

Mr Omondi rushed his brother to a hospital.

“[Medics] attended to him but I was asked to rush him to Siaya County Referral Hospital for further treatment. He died before we left,” he said.

The family claimed the police had failed to take action despite receiving reports and video evidence.

“The perpetrators are walking freely though the video shows that they killed my brother. The police have taken no action. The police should arrest and charge them in court,” Mr Omondi said.

A postmortem conducted at Siaya Referral stablished that he died of excessive bleeding from deep cuts with a sharp object.

The family asked well-wishers to help them with funeral arrangements.

“We are calling on leaders and friends to help us give him a good send-off,” said his sister Lydia Akelo.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is looking into the killing, said Ugunja sub-county Police Commander Emanuel Rono.

“The case is still under investigation. Police are still looking for the suspects. They reported the matter after the demise of the victim. The video went viral on social media and the perpetrators have gone into hiding,” he said.

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