Police probing motive of 54-year-old man’s brutal killing

Naomi Wanjiru holds a photograph of her uncle Samuel Mungai who was murdered at Kabogo village in Murang’a County on November 5. Police are trying to establish the motive of the killing.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The victim's body was found in a pool of blood, about 300 metres from his house.
  • Police believe the elaborate murder was executed between 9pm and 11pm.

Residents of Kambogo village in Murang’a County are yet to come to terms with the horrific murder of Mr Samuel Mungai Gachihi on October 22.

The body of the 54-year-old man had no private parts, tongue, ears, eyes and nose when it was found — a murder that bore the marks of a ritual killing.

“The scene details indicate devilish work of a killer or killers who had all the time with the victim, going to the extent of skinning his head and harvesting all those organs,” said Kigumo police boss Michael Ndegwa.

The post-mortem report indicated that the man first suffered blunt force trauma to the top of his head, which cracked his skull. 

The assailant(s) then slit his throat and then “the evil of harvesting the organs was executed”.

Police believe the elaborate murder was executed between 9pm and 11pm, which was corroborated by some neighbours who reported hearing the man scream twice from around 9.30pm.

At the scene was an iron bar, three unused condoms, an empty cigarette packet and snuff wrappings.

Why anyone would want to kill Mungai so cruelly is the puzzle the police are trying to solve.

Horrific scene

No suspect has been arrested so far.

When the Nation team visited the village, journalists were shown where the body was found by a man who was taking milk to the dairy co-operative society. The body was found in a pool of blood, about 300 metres from his house.

“The scene was so horrifying that I have been seeing a counsellor weekly. It is a miracle that I’m still sane. It is the most horrible sight I have encountered in my 72 years in this world,” said Mr Moses Njau, who was among the first to arrive at the scene.

Mr Mungai’s niece, Naomi Wanjiru, said he never married and was known for loathing relationships.

Kigumo police boss Ndegwa said the man is confirmed to have arrived home on that fateful night at around 7pm and herded his two goats and five hens into his one-roomed house where they usually slept to avoid being stolen.

However, Mr Ndegwa said the motive was not stealing the animals and that Mr Mungai was most likely lured out of the house by a person known to him. 

The police boss said getting the killers hinged on the motive.

“We are working around some possibilities revolving around family feud, business rivalry, occultism and normal crime,” he said.

Person of interest

Mr Mungai was one of three siblings — a brother Harun Muhia and sister, Joyce Nyambura. 

Mr Muhia died in 2013, leaving his widow Jane Nduta, 61, and six daughters and one son. 

However, Mr Mungai is reported to have expressed a desire to get married. 

He was to get part of the family’s 0.7 acres, worth Sh800,000.

Mr Ndegwa said police are also looking into the religious inclination of all of Mr Mungai’s relatives and villagers, looking for evidence of occult practices.

Another theory is that the deceased was embroiled in a business feud. 

“There is one specific character being mentioned by the locals as a person of interest owing to macabre statements he was heard uttering at the scene and in the burial. 

“We are working on starting an onslaught against the suspects,” said Mr Ndegwa.