Kenya: Murdered Kiambu Family Buried in Mass Grave

16 January 2021

The four family members who were killed in Karura, Kiambu county, on January 5, allegedly by one of their own, were buried in a mass grave Saturday in a ceremony characterised by raw emotions.

During a mass conducted by Bishop Charles Muturi of ACK Mount Kenya South at Wangunyu Primary School, before the burials a few kilometres away, speakers could not hide their anguish over the loss of the family in a tragedy still shrouded in mystery.

Police in Gigiri are holding Lawrence Njoroge, 22, an IT student at Mount Kenya University, is accused of killing of his father Nicholas Njoroge Warunge, his mother Ann Wanjiku, their adopted nephew Maxwell Njenga, his brother Christian Njenga Njoroge and farmhand James Kinyajui Wambaa.

His girlfriend Sarah Muthoni is also suspect in the case filed at Muthaiga Police Station.

The case will be mentioned before Kiambu Chief Magistrate Patricia Gichohi on January 25, when he is expected to face murder charges as a mental exam determined that he is fit to stand trial.

Leaders' plea

Kiambu Governor James Nyoro, Senator Kimani Wamatangi and Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange were among hundreds of mourners who attended the ceremony.

Leaders and members of the clergy who spoke at the burial called on parents to monitor their children to help identify behaviour change to prevent similar tragedies.

Christian and Maxwell's bodies were transported in one hearse and their parents' bodies in separate vehicles.

Only family members and the clergy were allowed to access the graveyard. Outside the home, villagers milled around as police officers and security guards kept vigil.

The only two members of the family who survived the carnage, because they were away in boarding school, watched pensively as their kin were buried.

The children looked shocked and sobbed quietly.

All the five died from multiple stab wounds likely inflicted by the same person, Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor said this week.

Attempted robbery

But, as if one tragedy was not enough for the family, early this week, a gang tried to break into the home of Allan Njire, a brother of the deceased nurse, where the burial preparations meetings were taking place.

Police were alerted and arrived on time to repel the attackers, said David Warunge, the family spokesman.

"We don't want to speculate much but the incident is worrying, knowing what has happened to the family. We have decided to treat it as a normal robbery," said Mr Warunge.

Questions still linger on whether Lawrence Njoroge executed the murders alone. Detectives close to the investigations believe there is more.

"It is suspect for the young man to own up to killing all the five people. In my understanding and experience in analysing murder cases, there are many gaps in his confession. I strongly believe he decided to own up to save people who helped him to plan the murders," a police source told the Nation.

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