Visit to hair salon ends in rape, murder of Kiriri varsity first-year student

Ann Kambura

Ann Kambura, a first-year student at Kiriri University from Kabuboni in Tharaka Nithi County, was raped and strangled near her parents' home. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

A family in Kabuboni village, Tharaka Nithi County, is crying out for justice for their 21-year-old first year student who was brutally murdered.

Ann Kambura's body was found dumped in a well with her hands tied behind her back with her blouse and her bra tied tightly around her neck, suggesting she had been strangled.

Ann, a student at Kiriri University, left home at around 2.30pm on Friday 12 this month to go to a beauty parlour in the neighbourhood to have her hair braided in preparation for school in Nairobi the next day, but never returned.

Her father James Mwiti and mother Frida Gaceri told Nation.Africa that they called her around 7pm to know if she had been attended to because it was getting late, but although the call went through, she didn't pick up.

The parents continued to call but she never picked up and after a few hours the phone went off and they thought their daughter might have decided to spend the night at the hairdresser’s house after dark.

The following day, they called her and the phone was still off. Sensing that something was wrong, they went to the hair salon.

The hairdresser told them that Ann had arrived at around 3pm and left at around 6.30pm after she finished braiding her hair.


Ms Frida Gaceri, the mother of Ann Kambura, a first-year student at Kiriri University from Kabuboni in Tharaka Nithi County who was raped and strangled.

Photo credit: Alex Njeru I Nation Media Group

The worried parents looked for the boda rider who took her to the salon and he confirmed that Ann had arrived at the salon, but she had not called him to take her home.

They called Ann's university friends in Nairobi to see if she had returned to Nairobi, but they said her rented room was locked.

"That Friday, I spent the day following up on a loan I had applied to pay her fees, only for her to be killed the same day," said Gaceri.

The parents reported the matter to the area chief and announcements were made in area churches, as a search started for her.

On Wednesday, a friend of the family, Jeremy Thirika, advised them to also report the matter to Chuka Police Station, but when they went there, they were advised to go make the report at a police post near their home.

While they were recording a statement at the police post, a police officer called the station to say that a body had been found in a well in the village.

Gaceri said that from the description of the size of the victim and clothing she wore, she was sure it was her daughter, a mother of one.

Ann Kambura

Ann Karambu, a Kiriri University from Kabuboni in Tharaka Nithi County who was raped and strangled to death near their home. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

Together with the police, they rushed to the scene and, after recovering the body, the family confirmed that it was Ann.

The body was taken to the Chuka County Referral Hospital mortuary while the police began investigations into the case.

"My daughter was brutally murdered because the well was thoroughly covered and her hands and head were tied with her torn blouse and her brassiere tied tightly around her neck," said the emotional father.

Mwiti said the post-mortem report showed his first-born had been raped before she was killed and he vowed that he would not bury her until the perpetrators were arrested and taken to court on murder charges.

At the time of going to press, the police had not arrested any suspects in connection with the heinous act, even as the parents continued to plead for justice.

Tharaka Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has expressed concern over the spate of lawlessness in the county.

"I am extremely disappointed that a young lady of 21 years, Ann Kambura Mwiti, who was preparing for school, was raped and brutally murdered on our soil in her neighbourhood," Njuki said in a statement.

“This is totally uncalled for and threatens the peace and tranquility we have been enjoying. It cannot be that as leaders of this county, we sit back and watch this trend unfold,” he added.

He insisted that Ann's family deserved justice and called on the investigating agencies to speed up the case and ensure the culprits are brought to book.