Kenya: Student at the Centre of Mother's Murder

18 January 2021

Police in Kakamega County are piecing together crucial information in a bid to unravel the motive behind the brutal murder of a 65-year-old retired teacher and pastor.

Ms Benedina Nabwangu's daughter, who is in university, and step-son, are being held as the prime suspects.

The woman's body was found in a pool of blood in her house last Wednesday with a stab wound in her head. The two siblings are in police custody after they were arrested in connection with the murder of their mother in an incident that left residents of Mutaho village, Ikolomani in shock.

The two siblings are said to have disappeared without reporting the incident. County Commander Hassan Barua said: "We have some leads, with two people in custody. The suspects could be charged with murder once investigations are completed."

It has emerged that the deceased' daughter, a university student in Nairobi, was in their house with her step-brother on Tuesday night but left in a huff, leaving behind her mother's lifeless body without reporting her death to anyone.

Her mobile phone was tracked by police investigating the matter to Sachangwan. She was on her way to Nairobi, but was prevailed upon to return home.

According to Shisese chief Donald Khabuchi, the student claimed that they had been attacked at night, forcing her to scamper for safety.

"She claims they were attacked at 11pm on Tuesday night. She kept changing telephone numbers and the signal was traced to Sachangwan. We persuaded her to return home, leading to her arrest," the chief said.

Her version of the incident raised more questions as investigators wondered why she did not report to police or call for help from neighbours.

Ms Tabitha Indoshi, the family's third born child, said the deceased lived alone, but her sister was at home before the reports of their mother's death emerged.

"On the evening of January 12, neighbours saw the deceased and her daughter at home, but on the morning of January 13, the herds boy found her lifeless body in a pool of blood, and the daughter was missing," said Mr Barua.

The herds boy, who usually goes to the home every morning to milk, said: "I came in the morning to begin my work. The door was open and when I entered, I found the deceased lying in a pool of blood."

Mr Pius Navangu, the brother-in-law of the deceased, said: "Her death has pained us so much. I am told her daughter was around, but I had not seen her."

The woman was to lead a worship service at Mumbetsa Church of God on Thursday, where she has been ministering as an assistant pastor for the last five years after retiring as a teacher.

Grief-stricken faithful met at the church to mourn her. Faithful at Mumbetsa Church of God, where she has been working and Shisende Church of God, her home church, described her as a jovial minister of the word.

The body of the woman, whose husband died in 2014, was taken to Kakamega Hospital mortuary.

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