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January 20, 2018

Police hunt for trio who tortured cousin to death over cell phone

Kathita Villagers in Embu Town watch a body of a man who was reportedly tortured to death by his cousins on Thursday
Kathita Villagers in Embu Town watch a body of a man who was reportedly tortured to death by his cousins on Thursday

A man died in Embu after his cousins allegedly tortured him demanding that he produces a phone belonging to another cousin.

Two relatives, Samuel Gicovi and Elijah Muchangi, were allegedly tortured on Wednesday and Thursday by their three cousins. They were tied to a mango tree with ropes, scalded with a hot panga and beaten. They were scalded in the back, legs and buttocks.

Gicovi succumbed to his injuries, but Muchangi was released on Wednesday night at 9pm. Gicovi’s body was found dumped in the middle of the village on Thursday morning. The tree they were tied to is in a farm far from the village. The incident took place in Kathita village in Embu West subcounty.

Muchangi says he did not report the incident or look for help the night he was released, because he thought Gicovi would also be set free by his captors. He did not say if he sought medical help.

Their cousin whose phone was missing, a woman, has been arrested in connection to the murder. The three men who allegedly tortured Muchangi and Gicovi are on the run.

Muchangi said three men under the instructions of their cousin, the woman who is in police custody, went to him demanding that he produces a mobile phone that was missing.

Muchangi said he was going on with his normal routine in his house, when the three men knocked on his door at 3pm on Wednesday and marched him to where Gicovi was tied to a mango tree.

He said he was also tied to the same tree. Muchangi said he was later released at night, leaving Gicovi still held captive by the tormentors.

A sister of Gicovi, Caroline Wawira, said her brother was accosted while he was sleeping in his house on Wednesday. She said the cousins demanded he produces the phone, but he did not. Wawira said they took her brother away. She said when his body was found, it had burns on the legs, buttocks and the back.

DCI’s George Etyiang said a woman, also a relative, has been arrested in connection with the murder of Gicovi. Three other suspects are still at large. Etyiang said Gicovi was tortured to death by his relatives. Police said they have launched a manhunt for the three suspects who disappeared when police arrived to collect the body. The officer has urged residents to volunteer information that will help police arrest the three.

The body was moved to Embu Level 5 Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.

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