Kenya: Suspects in Tharaka Nithi Ritual Sacrifice Remanded 7 Days

19 January 2021

Police in Tharaka Nithi County have seven days to conclude investigations into the gruesome murder of a nine-year-old girl from Mpingu village in Maara Sub-county.

The accused are 94-year-old Suleiman Mati Mukira from the village in Mwimbi, whom police say is a witchdoctor, and his client Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, from Kariakomo village in neighboring Ganga Ward.

In their application, police said they needed enough time to thoroughly probe the shocking incident believed to have been a ritual killing.

They further argued that the two should remain in police custody because their security is not guaranteed.

Before Senior Resident Magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi, the investigating team also said the first suspect, Mr Riungu, is a flight risk.

"Police are seeking seven days to conclude the investigation before preferring charges," said the prosecution.

In their affidavit, police also told the court that Mr Riungu, who had visited Mr Mukira for his services, beheaded the Grade Two child of his neighbour.

Asked whether he was against the police request for him to remain in custody for the seven days, Mr Riungu did not object.

Mr Mukira requested to be released on bond arguing that he is old and sickly and that since the incident happened, he has been suffering from depression. He also cited a urinary tract infection.

The court remanded the two, nothing the need for them to undergo mental checks before standing trial.

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