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Man was ‘victim of domestic abuse’

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The family of a man who died after he drove his vehicle into the Indian Ocean last weekend, claims he had endured years of domestic abuse by his wife.

On Tuesday, the victim’s mother, Musangi Mutinda, accused her son’s wife of misrepresenting issues and being economical with the truth.

In an interview with the Nation newspaper at her Kyanika village home in Kitui County, the grieving mother said her son had been recovering from severe burns inflicted when his wife scalded him with hot water in November.

“My son died out of depression and despair because of the domestic violence and marital anguish he endured at home.

“It is, therefore, wrong for his wife to insinuate he had gone mad,” said Mrs Mutinda.

Mrs Musangi Mutinda, John Mutinda’s mother, during the interview on December 10, 2019. PHOTO | KITAVI MUTUA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

On Saturday, the man stormed out of his house in Vanga Estate, Mombasa, at around 4 am, got into his vehicle, sped off towards the Likoni crossing, and drove into the ocean.

According to his relative, Bernard Kieti, he told his wife that he had ”received a call from his late father” before leaving the house in a huff.

“He was saying things that his wife could not comprehend when he left. The wife tried in vain to stop him,” Mr Kieti, who spoke on behalf of the family, said during an interview at the crossing.

READ ALSO:   The moment motorist plunged his car into the ocean at Likoni Channel – VIDEO

But a visibly angry mother said the woman was the reason her son decided to take his own life. She said that life with her was unbearable.

While displaying photographs of her son, with burn wounds all over his chest, Mrs Mutinda said the wife’s misrepresentation of facts aggravated the pain of losing the father of three children.

“After she scalded him with hot water, she rushed to lodge a complaint at Central Police Station in Mombasa, prompting police to lock up my son for four days,” the mother said, adding that he was released without charges.

Mrs Mutinda urged police in Mombasa to investigate her daughter-in-law over the alleged domestic abuse and release the findings of the post-mortem for the truth to be known.

Her story was corroborated by the victim’s siblings, who rejected the narrative of mental disturbance but regretted not intervening earlier to keep him from giving up on his life.

Ruth Mueni breaks down after her husband’s body was retrieved from the ocean at the Likoni Channel on December 7, 2019. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Contacted for comment, Ms Mueni acknowledged they had marital issues but insisted the media should let her mourn her husband in peace.

She declined to discuss why she scalded her late husband with hot water, only saying she needed time to explain the circumstances to her mother-in-law and other family members who complained about her.

READ ALSO:   Likoni tragedy: 'Man received phone call from dead father'

“Who has given you those photos? This is a private family issue. I cannot talk at the moment because I am at a police station organising the postmortem,” she said, adding the media should not bother her as she mourns her husband.

According to the Kenya Ferry Services, Mr Mutinda, 46, drove straight into the sea at around 4.20 am Saturday without paying for the ticket.

Soon after the incident, officers from the Kenya Navy and the Kenya Police Marine swung into action.

The victim’s body was retrieved shortly after 9 am and taken to Jocham Hospital mortuary.

By nation

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Thieves defy curfew, drive away farmer’s 15 bulls

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A farmer in Athi River, Machakos County, is counting heavy losses after his herd of 15 prized bulls were driven away from his home on Monday night.

Three of the bulls were later traced to a nearby bush, where they were found with their legs slashed. The rest of the herd is suspected to have been ferried using a lorry to an unknown destination.

Herdboy Tumokinoi Mutuku said a gang of armed assailants struck before dawn.

‘’The gang ensured we could not leave our adjacent houses to the cowshed. It was a well-planned theft that took no time. We were afraid the assailants could attack us,” he said.

The livestock owner, Benedict Muimi, faulted the security apparatus for laxity, especially given that the dusk-to-dawn curfew is in force.

He said livestock theft is rampant in Athi River, claiming that in the past three months he has lost more than 50 cows in similar incidents.

“Let the security apparatus know they are to blame for the spate of theft being witnessed during curfew time in this region,” he said.

“How thieves managed to steal and transport livestock using a lorry 200 metres from the Mombasa Road police roadblock raises eyebrows.”

Residents have cried foul over recent rampant cattle theft cases in the area. They say that since the curfew was imposed, unknown assailants have taken advantage of it to steal day and night.

READ ALSO:   Vehicle that plunged into Indian Ocean at dawn retrieved

Residents suspect the raiders could be working in cahoots with rogue security officers to facilitate the theft.

Athi River sub-county police Commander Catherine Ringera said the incident was being investigated and urged the public to volunteer information to expedite investigations.

By Nation.co.ke

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SAD: Five killed in road crash in Nyeri

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Five people have been killed after the car they were travelling in collided with a lorry in Naromoru along the Nyeri -Nanyuki highway.

Police reports indicate that the crash occurred Tuesday night, a few minutes to 7pm, about 200 metres from Naromoru Town.

Kieni East Sub-County police commander Wilberforce Sichalanyi confirmed that all five occupants of the saloon car died on the spot.

“All the five people in the saloon car died. But the lorry driver escaped unhurt,” Mr Sichalanyi said.

OVERTAKING

It is still unclear what led to the deadly crash but police say preliminary findings showed that the driver of the car appeared to have been trying to overtake another vehicle.

Both the tipper truck and the car were being driven at high speed when they collided head on.

“It could have been due to a rush to beat the curfew but what we can tell so far is that the saloon car was attempting to overtake another car. They collided head on,” Mr Sichalanyi said.

The mangled wreckages of the two vehicles were towed to Naromoru Police Station.

Investigations are underway to uncover more details about the incident

By Nation Counties

READ ALSO:   The moment motorist plunged his car into the ocean at Likoni Channel – VIDEO
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Woman held after tenant she evicted left human body in her house

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations is holding the owner of a building where a dismembered body of an identified woman was retrieved before it was dumped at Tumaini primary school in Umoja last week.

Nancy Wanja Njuguna is held at Buruburu police station alongside two men – a casual labourer she hired to remove the body of the woman cut into several pieces and wrapped with wedding decor materials, and a garbage collector who dumped the body.

Inspector John Kanampiu of Buruburu DCI offices on Tuesday told Makadara law courts that the body of the adult woman was retrieved from Ms Njuguna’s rental house rented to a suspect at large – David Migwi Kariuki- before it was dumped with the decor materials.

Ms Njuguna is held alongside Kennedy Otieno Omar whom she hired to remove the bales of the materials that wrapped the body of the deceased, and Nicholas Kimanthi hired to dump the “items”.

Kennedy Otieno Omar.

The body had been left inside Ms Njuguna’s house leased to Kariuki who has since disappeared. Ms Njuguna has no details of her missing tenant such as copies of the national ID and phone number or next of kin.

Kanampiu said Ms Njuguna had earlier last month decided to lock Kariuki’s house after he failed to pay rent for several months.

READ ALSO:   ‘He had tried committing suicide before’ Niece to Likoni Ferry victim reveals

“After locking the house, the suspect who is on the run came back, broke into the house taking his belongings and leaving behind huge bales of wedding decor materials and a blue water tank,” Kanampiu stated in an affidavit filed in at the Makadara law courts.

Kanampiu obtained orders to hold the three for 14 days as he continues with investigations.

After Kariuki ran away, Ms. Njuguna hired three men including the two in custody to clean the house, and ferry the luggage and dirt from the house to a dumpsite.

The suspects did the work and carried the wedding décor materials from the said house to a dumping site on May 30.

Kanampiu said the third man, only identified as Kamau, who worked with Omar and Kimanthi is also on the run.

In court, Kimanthi said he is a garbage collector and was hired to take the bales of dirt wrapped in the materials to a dumpsite.

Nicholas Kimanthi

“I asked for Sh1,000 but she offered Sh500 and after negotiations settled on Sh700. I did not remove anything from the house as, by the time I was called, Omar and another man had already removed everything to a corridor outside the house,” Kimanthi told senior principal magistrate Heston Nyaga.

READ ALSO:   The moment motorist plunged his car into the ocean at Likoni Channel – VIDEO

“There was a smell but I assumed the materials were smelling because of being water-drenched and I did not bother to check because they were heaps.”

On Sunday, police received information that there was a body of an unknown female at Tumaini primary school grounds in Umonja two.

Kanampiu said the body had been stacked into four different sacks spotted at the school’s field.

The detective had sought to hold the three for 21 days to complete investigations including carrying out the identification of the body, undertaking postmortem, recording statements of witnesses, tracing the Kariuki.

The tenant of the house had reportedly moved to Ruai after vacating Ms Njuguna’s house.

The detective intends to take samples of the body to the government chemist for analysis, and take the suspects’ fingerprints and record their statements.

Ms Njuguna had opposed the application through lawyer Margaret Muthii. She claimed that she resides four kilometres from the building where the body was retrieved at her tenant’s house.

She said keeping her in cells is putting her in danger of contracting Covid-19.

But Nyaga said he had considered that and the fact that the seriousness of the matter under investigation.

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