Rescuing Kisii county from nightmare of gory murders

Written by on 13 January 2023

The recent killings in Kisii county, including the gouging out of the eyes of three-year-old Brighton Sagini Junior, has created fear and uncertainty among the community.

In a recent incident, Sabastian Matundura allegedly killed his son, Peter Bogecho, at Igonga village, Bonchari constituency, Kisii South sub-county, and surrendered to officers at Igonga Police Post.

According to reports by sub-county police commander Charles Machinji, Matundura and Bogecho, a stepson, quarrelled on Sunday night and a fight ensued. Matundura then killed his son using a jembe.

“The father fought the stepson, hit him with a jembe, stabbed him, and went to hide in a neighbour’s house. He surrendered to Igonga Police Post officers the following day,” Machinji said.

He said the cause of the altercation was yet to be known; adding that police were probing the circumstances under which the young man died.

Matundura was arraigned before Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Mutai on Wednesday and detained for seven days at Gesonso Police Station to allow sleuths complete their work.

Detain suspect

Prosecutor Job Mulati said: “If the suspect is freed, he might interfere with the probe. He should be detained pending autopsy, mental assessment and recording of statements by witnesses”.

At Bomoku village in Kiobegi, Bobasi Constituency, Nyamaache sub-county, Nelson Momanyi Ontita is said to have killed his two children aged 10 months and two-and-a-half years and dumped their bodies in a maize farm.

He appeared before Ogembo Principal Magistrate Calestous Sindani, who ordered that he be held at Nyangusu Police Station for two weeks for officers to complete their investigations.

Prosecutor Ian Mukusi told the court that the suspect would undergo mental assessment, while witnesses would record statements. The case will be mentioned on January 23.

According to Nyakundi Ombati, a neighbour of Momanyi, and clan elder Edward Kebwaro, he had a mental problem; adding that residents contributed money for his treatment but it seems he had not healed.

In neighbouring Nyamira,  70-year-old man was in October last  year brutally murdered in Masaba North sub-county after he was caught red-handed making love to another man’s wife at midnight .

According to police, Ongweno Nyakundi was clobbered to death after a man caught him having sex with his wife on their matrimonial bed. The man surrendered to Keroka Police officers.

And at Ikuruma village, Marani sub-county, Alex Maina Ochogo, Pacifica Nyakerario and Rael Mayieka appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno and denied attempting to murder Sagini between December 13 and 14.

 The magistrate directed they be remanded at Kisii Prison after prosecutor Hilary Kaino told the court they are family members and, if freed, they could interfere with witnesses.

Nyakerario is the mother of Ochogo while Mayieka is the grandmother. The pre-trial would be held on January 18.

“I urge the court to detain them. If they are freed, it will cause fear, anxiety and intimidation. It is for their safety,” Kaino told the court, adding that the situation on the ground was volatile and they risked being harmed.

South West Kenya Law Society of Kenya branch chairman Gideon Nyambati deplored the killings, saying the society has assembled a team of lawyers to represent the victims’ families.

Hasten justice

He said the court has 92 murder cases against one judge and urged the government to post another judge to hasten the determination of the cases for the victims to get justice.

“ It is difficult for one judge to handle such cases. The cases are overwhelming and need more judges to be finalised,” Nyambati told the press at the court.

Abagusii Culture and Development Council officials James Araka (chairman) and Samuel Bosire (secretary) condemned the killings and pledged to criss-cross the county to sensitise residents on respect for human life and the need for dialogue to resolve conflicts.

“The killings being witnessed in Gusii community are worrying. We have to unite and fight the vice. It is shameful,” Araka told ‘People Daily’.

Dr Rose Otieno, a psychologist at Kisii University, said the killings are linked to mental health challenges and urged the government to mainstream mental health.

She said killers suffer from antisocial personality disorder and they do not feel guilty, adding that men who have separated from their wives could kill the children to punish the latter.

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