15 April 2019

Kenya: Rising Cases of Gruesome Murders Worries Nyandarua Residents

The rising cases of cold-blooded murders in Nyandarua County is worrying residents.

Over the past three months, many killings have been reported, with two occurring over the weekend.

In the first case, Ms Monicah Muthoni was slashed to death by her husband Justin Ndung'u using a jembe. Mr Ndung'u also critically injured his son Maina, 28, who is now fighting for his life at the Nakuru General Hospital. He then took his own life.

COURT CASES

Mr Ndung'u had a pending case at Nyahururu courts where he was charged with attempted murder for a December incident in which he slashed his wife with a panga, leaving her for dead.

His family had bailed him out in February after he called to say he was remorseful.

In the second incident, Mr Kioko Kimanthi, 27, died after he was hit by his father with a crude weapon.

Mr Kimanthi had attempted to kill his parents by burning their house at Sokomoko estate in Ol Kalou town.

His parents escaped unhurt but the house was partly damaged before the neighbours rushed to contain the fire.

On March 15, Ms Mumbi Ngugi, 90, was brutally murdered by a neighbour she had contracted to repair her house at Tumaini in Mirangine Sub-County.

She had severe cuts on the chest and other parts of the body inflicted using a knife. The suspect is yet to be arrested.

Early this month, the mutilated body of Mr Stephen Mwangi, 35, a boda boda operator was discovered a short distance from his house at Matundura village in Kinangop constituency.

MENTAL ILLNESS

Experts and clerics attribute the gruesome killings to depression, crimes of passion and bloodthirsty cults.

"Such homicides occur when one parent uses children to mistreat and disrespect his or her partner. The home is a place one expects to find solace after many hours of hustling for a living," said Dr Joram Muraya.

"If you do a root cause analysis, you will find that depression tops the list of the causes of homicides and suicides. Sometimes you don't find depression but mild madness. Depression is usually caused by drug abuse, and in particular bhang and alcohol consumption," said Dr Muraya.

He said a depressed person may turn violent if they are having wrangles in their marriage.

He says indicators of severe depression include sudden withdrawal, lack of sleep or oversleeping and sudden loss of interest in what they love most.

"The most important thing is to identify what is triggering the depression or the mental illness. If you are very close or a confidant, through normal conversation you will be able to identify the cause," Dr Muraya said.

CULT

Going by the trend, Dr Muraya suspects there is a bloodthirsty cult operating in Nyandarua.

His sentiments are shared by Nyandarua Council of Churches chairperson Bishop Josam Kariuki.

"Due to persistent depression, couples resort to murders. Unemployment is causing depression among the youth. Feuds over property, where parents do not want to bequeath assets like land, have led some people to eliminate their parents," Bishop Kariuki said.

He also blames the murder cases among spouses to lack of dialogue at the family level, saying many couples spend all their time on social media instead of conversing with their partners.

"There is also the issue of cults. Some people are following bloodthirsty cults. We should be able to know the type of church we go to and its beliefs and doctrines," Bishop Kariuki said.

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