• Church leader denies they beat the man up before taking him to the police.
• Police sources say the suspect was taken to them unconscious.
The family of a man found dead in police cells in Runyenjes last Friday have demanded a speedy investigation.
Peter Muchangi, 24, was allegedly caught stealing food from a church kitchen and was taken to Kigumo Administration Police post.
Residents said he was waylaid by a Kigumo Salvation Army church leader on Thursday, who alerted neighbours.
His mother Jane Ireri accused the church leader of letting a mob beat up her son. "They only took him to the police station when he was about to die," she said.
She accused officers of colluding with the church to delay justice and called for a speedy investigation.
Ireri said they had agreed to meet at the police post a day after her son's arrest to sort out the matter but the church leaders failed to show up after learning of Muchangi's death.
Antony Njiru, a neighbour of the church, said Muchangi was beaten up at the church compound before being taken to the police post.
"We would want to know the real cause of his death. I heard a commotion and when I went into the church compound, I was sent away after asking who was being beaten up," he said.
Church Sergeant Dominic Saisi has denied roughing up the suspect. He said together with his wife they alerted neighbours and took Muchangi to the police post.
"We cannot say we caused him any injuries," he said.
Police sources said the suspect was taken to the post unconscious. They accused church leaders of beating up the suspect.
"We called the leaders early in the morning to record statements after we found the suspect dead," a source said.
Embu East subcounty deputy police commander Michael Wachira said investigations are ongoing.
"Postmortem results are not yet out and we cannot say much. We have recorded statements from many people and we are still conducting investigations. Justice will prevail," he said.
Wachira urged the family to remain calm and await the postmortem results as well as those of the investigation.
Edited by R.Wamochie