CHAOS AHEAD OF DP VISIT

Families of those killed in Kenol fracas demand justice

Say the two were not part of the factions but were caught up between the fighting groups

In Summary

• Christopher Kariuki, 21, a father of one was an orphan working in the Kazi Mtaani Programme in Thika. He was stabbed twice in the back.

• 15-year-old Peter Mbothu was pronounced dead on arrival at Thika Level 5 Hospital. 

Joseph Kamande, Christopher Kariuki's foster father at his Kiandutu home in Thika on Monday.
Joseph Kamande, Christopher Kariuki's foster father at his Kiandutu home in Thika on Monday.
Image: John Kamau
Lydia Wangui, the widow of Christopher Kariuki at their home in Kiandutu, Thika on Monday.
Lydia Wangui, the widow of Christopher Kariuki at their home in Kiandutu, Thika on Monday.
Image: John Kamau
Peter Mbothu, 15, who was killed after chaos broke out during Deputy President William Ruto's visit in Kenol town, Murang'a county on Sunday.
Peter Mbothu, 15, who was killed after chaos broke out during Deputy President William Ruto's visit in Kenol town, Murang'a county on Sunday.
Image: John Kamau
Christopher Kariuki, 21, was killed during the Sunday fracas in Kenol.
Christopher Kariuki, 21, was killed during the Sunday fracas in Kenol.
Image: John Kamau
Christopher Kariuki, 21, was killed during the Sunday fracas in Kenol, Murang'a county.
Christopher Kariuki, 21, was killed during the Sunday fracas in Kenol, Murang'a county.
Image: John Kamau

The families of the two individuals killed in a fracas on Sunday in Kenol, Murang’a county have called for speedy investigations into their deaths and arrest of their murderers

Christopher Kariuki, 21, and Peter Mbothu, 15, died when skirmishes between rival political factions erupted minutes before Deputy President William Ruto arrived at a fundraiser at AIPCA Church in Kenol town.

Bodies of the two youths are lying at General Kago Funeral Home in Thika as families begin preparations for their interment.

 

Their families said the two youths were not part of the factions but were caught up between the fighting groups and ended up losing their lives.

Kariuki, a father of one was stabbed twice in the back, his widow Lydia Wangui, 19, told journalists at their Kiandutu home in Thika on Monday.

Wangui said her husband had on Saturday night told her he had taken a job to clean a hotel in Murang’a. He would earn Sh2,000.

On Sunday, she received a call from Kenneth Matiba Hospital in Kenol, directing her to rush there as her husband had been seriously injured.

“The caller said that Kariuki was in critical condition and that we should rush so that we can sign his referral to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) for specialised treatment. But on arriving at the hospital we were told that he had died. I saw him and he clearly died with a lot of pain,” she said. 

Wangui described her husband as a peaceful, loving and hardworking person.

At the time of Kariuki's death, he was still working under the Kazi Mtaani programme in Thika.

 

The widow said her husband was a plumber, mechanic and an electrician and that he was doing decent work.

“Even when local politicians hold their events here [in Kiandutu] he is never bothered because he believes in earning decent money. He was our family’s breadwinner and we had a future together until it was cut short by some politicians who paid money to some individuals to cause mayhem,” Wangui said.

She called for justice for her husband, saying the politicians behind the fracas should be apprehended and punished.

Joseph Kamande, Kariuki’s foster father, said that he was orphaned at a young age and was now striving to bring up his young family. 

“I have raised him through untold hardships. I took him to school where he studied plumbing, mechanic and electrical engineering. All this has gone to waste. His young life has been cut short by the greedy politicians who are out to satisfy their selfish political interests,” Kamande said.

In Kiang’ombe village members Mbothu's family were similarly grief-stricken.

His father Kihungi Mbothu accused politicians of using children of poor Kenyans as objects to advance their political interests.

“They [politicians] are cursed. They are destroying the lives of our children just because of their dirty politics. My son is dead because of them, I will not see him again,” he said.

Lucy Njoki, the boy’s sister, said that her brother had not been recruited to attend the meeting as had been claimed on social media sites.

“My brother was preparing to attend a friend's party in Kiandutu when his two other friends told him that DP Ruto was coming to Kenol and that he gives handouts so they should try their luck. My brother agreed and they left on a motorbike,” Njoki said.

She later received a call notifying her that her brother had been beaten badly and that she should rush to Thika Level 5 Hospital where he had been taken.

“On arriving at the hospital, I found the police Land Rover that was carrying my brother had just arrived. I saw my brother at the back of the van. He was dead. It was a sad and painful moment to see the lifeless body of my only brother,” she said. 

Njoki called on the police to hasten investigations and apprehend the masterminds of the chaos.

Meanwhile, youths in Kiandutu have criticised politicians for fanning the chaos using poor, unemployed youths.  

“We have said that enough is enough. We will not allow them [politicians] to misuse the youth. Let them put their children and family members in the frontline. We are tired with these confrontational politics,” said John Karoki, a youth leader.

They told the government to halt early campaigns as they have proved to be divisive and may result in mayhem in the country.