He always carried a panga with him while herding livestock belonging to his employer, but no one thought he would use it to kill somebody and later make a meal out of him. Yet this is what police are accusing him of doing.
On Monday, Mr Amos Gichue Kimeria appeared before the High Court in Nakuru. But the man from Subukia in Nakuru County could not take a plea because his mental status had not been assessed.
Neighbours say he had warned them against passing through a footpath cutting across his employer’s shamba after dark, citing security concerns.
“He warned us about it. At one time he nearly sliced open a 10-year-old’s belly when he tried to use the path at around 6.30pm,” says a neighbour, Mr Francis Tarkus Loket, of the man villagers claim is a cannibal.
Residents of Tetu Farm in Subukia say Mr Kimeria attacked Mr Samuel Epolisi Lodoket, beheaded him and proceeded to make a meal of boiled bowels and roasted human flesh for the night.
The story starts from Friday morning, when Mr Lodoket’s family began a frantic search for him after he failed to return home on Thursday, as was his tradition.
A friend said they had parted ways with Mr Lodoket at the dreaded footpath. “We saw the herdsman sitting on a section of the expansive shamba, quietly whiling away the time.
“Then he stood up and led the animals away, unlike his usual light-hearted greetings before giving warnings on the footpath’s use,” recalls Mr Tarkus.
After some time, the herdsman left the cattle on the farm and went to his one-room house. During the search, a cap belonging to Mr Lodoket was found on the foot path next to a pool of blood.
The trail led to Kemeria’s house, where blood stains were on the ground and door. The smell of freshly cooked meat come from the house. The search team broke into the house and found a sufuria full of meat.
Another group broke into the poultry house where they saw two polythene bags containing flesh and wondered why the herdsman was hiding the raw meat.
“In the house, we saw clothes belonging to Mr Lodoket, so we hastily formed teams in search of the herdsman,” said Mr Tarkus.
At last one search party arrived with the bad news — Mr Lodoket had been killed, his body sliced open and various parts cut out to provide boneless flesh.
It was covered with a light blue bed cover after it had been cut open in the middle starting at the neck, down the chest to the abdomen.
The left leg had the upper leg had flesh cut out, apparently to provide Thursday evening’s roast meat.
Mr Tarkus, who spoke to the Nation outside Nyahururu District Hospital Mortuary, said the bowels were stashed in a soot-covered sufuria that had been used to boil them.
Subukia divisional police say the suspect turned himself in at Kirengero police station and handed in the murder weapon.
State Counsel Nerolyne Idagua asked the court to postpone the taking of plea until Thursday to allow time for a mental check-up.
Mr Tarkus described the man as a loner who spent most of his time herding his employer’s livestock before retiring for his one room mud house.
Police also collected the cooked, raw and preserved human flesh from the house and took it to Nyahururu district mortuary for preservation.