Family Murders in Nairobi Turning Heads

Kenya Police officers pictured at a crime scene.
  • The recent mystery surrounding the killing of three people at a house in Government Quarters along Jogoo Road in Nairobi marked yet another gruesome murder in the Kenyan capital.

    Over the last year, the country has witnessed a spike in similar murder cases, with some eventually linked to inheritance wars, business deals, and family members confessing to hiring hit-men to murder their own kin.

    At the turn of the year, Lawrence Simon Warunge, stunned the entire country following his chilling confession.

    The 22-year-old admitted to having taken 3 months to plan how he would kill both his parents, two siblings, and a farmhand.

    Kenya Police officers pictured at a crime scene.

    The suspect had alleged that he felt neglected by his parents and that his younger siblings were also siding with the parents.

    2020 was a dark year for Kenya not only as a result of the pandemic but also due to a sudden spike in mystery murders.

    It started out with one of the most high-profile murders in recent history as Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei was found dead on February 20, 2020, in his house in Nairobi’s Imara Daima area.

    The murder made national headlines as Sergeant Kenei was reportedly just about to record a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on what he knew about a reported fake Ksh 39 billion arms tender.

    The DCI still believes that the deceased did not commit suicide, and there was something fishy surrounding his death 

    Another puzzling homicide emerged on July 2, 2020, when detectives from the DCI found two decomposing bodies of a boy and a girl inside a car at the Athi River police station. 

    Police officers pictured at a scene of a crime as residents look on.
    Police officers pictured at a scene of a crime as residents look on.

    The two children who had been reported missing on June 11, were just 4 years old.

    There were also several inexplicable cases outside the Kenyan capital, with the June 27, 2020, discovery of the bodies of four minors in their house near Naivasha High School one of those that sparked national outrage.

    After her arrest, the suspect Beatrice Mwende Kimothoi, (mother to the 4 children) said she was possessed and thought that her actions were nothing but a bad dream.

    She went on to claim that on the 26th day of every month, she would be possessed by evil spirits that commandeered her to do things out of her control.

    “Women in Africa are at the greatest risk of being killed by their intimate partner or family members,” the Global Study on Homicide: Gender-related Killings of Women and Girls 2018 report by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime detailed. 

    The report ranked Kenya among countries with high cases of female homicide cases. 

    This was in line with Annual Crime Report published by the NPS in the same year.

    “Nairobi County recorded the highest number of cases reported to police at 7,128. The largest number of cases reported in Nairobi involved Offences Against Persons at 1,513 cases, Assault 1,243, Creating Disturbance 216 and Affray 54,

    “The highest number of Assault cases reported is an indication that most offences are between persons known to each other,” the report reads in part.

    On the other hand, murder cases allegedly carried out by members of the National Police Service (NPS) hit new heights over the last year as well.

    On June 27, 2020, a Kenyan policeman was charged with the murder of 13-year-old Yasin Moyo, who was shot as he stood on a balcony in March 2020, watching police enforce a night-time curfew.

    At least seven people were killed in different parts of Kenya in the first five nights of the curfew, rights group Amnesty International reported.

    Reforms are underway in Kenya, aimed at transforming the police organization into a people-centred police service model. 

    Among other things, this involves enhancing police-public trust and partnerships through community policing (COP). 

    Today the mission of the NPS is, according to its website, ‘To provide professional and people-centred police service through community partnerships and upholding rule of law for a safe and secure society.

    Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai announcing the online engagement with the public on Monday, February 22
    Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai announcing the online engagement with the public on Monday, February 22

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