KAPENGURIA COURT

Witchcraft lynching: 3 men get 25 years each

They beat, dragged 72-year-old man, burnt him to death.

In Summary

• Victim suffered 60% burns, abdominal haemorrhage.

• Witness attended meeting where lynching was planned and executed.

 

Coffins of five people lynched in March on the homested of a man said to practise witchcraft.
LYNCHED: Coffins of five people lynched in March on the homested of a man said to practise witchcraft.
Image: FILE

Three Kapenguria men were found guilty of a lynching murder on Monday and sentenced to 25 years each for burning a 72-year-old man alleged to have practised witchcraft.

Richard Rimoi, Benson Muketiang and Wilson Lemereng were convicted of lynching Ringetiang Tomeluk in Pokot Central subcounty on December 28, 2017. Others not before the court were also accused.

The three denied the charges. The prosecution called six witnesses.

Witness Samson Ringetiang testified that at 5pm on the afternoon of the murder, he was in a meeting convened to decide how to "sort out witchcraft" against Tomeluk.

"During the meeting, the deceased was beaten hard and dragged along the ground. His hands were tied and then he was burnt," he testified.

Tomeluk had been doused in petrol and one of the accused tossed a lit match on him.

Dr Jotham Mukhola, medical superintendent at Kapenguria county hospital, told the court that the victim suffered 60 per cent burns. His lungs contained carbon from inhaling smoke, he suffered abdominal haemorrhage from blunt force trauma.

Judge Ruth Sitati said, "the prosecution proved beyond doubt the charge of murder against each of the three accused ... I sentence each to 25 years' imprisonment."

They can appeal within 14 days.

(Edited by V. Graham)