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Shock as Form Two student murdered after winning Sh200,000 lottery



By Wanja Waweru

A Form Two student was brutally murdered by unidentified assailants in Kitui, Kenya, days after winning a Sh200,000 lottery from the sports betting company Betika. Police are currently probing the case.

The body of the 17-year-old boy was discovered in a thicket after being murdered and dumped a short distance from his rural home in the Maliku region of the Katulani district. He’d been gone for a few days.

Syengo Nyamai of Mavindini Day Mixed Secondary School is said to have won the money two weeks ago when he gambled in the 2023 Carabao Cup final match involving Manchester United and Newcastle United. On February 26, the game took place at Wembley Stadium in London, United Kingdom.

According to his elder brother, Mr Munyithya Nyamai, Syengo had used a neighbour’s national identity card to register a Safaricom SIM card that he used to enrol for the lottery, but he did not tell his family he had won the Sh200,000.

“We knew he had a phone, but never bothered to establish which ID number he used to register his mobile line because he had not yet attained the age of acquiring his own national ID card,” said the brother.

Syengo had earlier requested his mother to arrange for his transfer to a boarding school, promising to contribute to the cost of the higher tuition without providing any additional information.

According to Mr. Nyamai, his sibling revealed how he won the lottery to two of his close friends.

Additionally, he informed them that he would be leaving the following week to visit some acquaintances in Likoni, Mombasa County.

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On the morning of February 27, Syengo was last seen leaving for school as normal, but he never made it there.

He had spent the previous evening watching the Carabao Cup Final at the neighborhood shopping center with the two young friends, who have since been detained by investigators looking into the case.

The family got alarmed when Syengo failed to return home in the evening on the second day, and upon checking, they were told he had not been to school.

“We reported to the area chief that the boy was missing because it wasn’t his nature to disappear without informing the parents,” his brother said.

As the search for his whereabouts progressed, one of his two friends who is in police custody, came forward and told the family that Syengo had told them of plans to travel to Mombasa and he was to contact them upon reaching there to help in replacing his mobile line.

‘’The fellow told us our brother gave him his Sim card registration particulars, including the ID number used, mobile number, M-Pesa Pin and the mobile handset lock Pin to help in replacing the line that had won the Betika bonus,” said Mr Nyamai.

His body, with the eyes gouged out, was discovered in a thicket six days after he was last seen — on Saturday, March 4.

The scene where his body was found had motorcycle tire tracks, suggesting he might have been killed elsewhere and his body ferried to the place on the motorbike.

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A post-mortem done at the Kitui County Referral Hospital revealed that his eyes were gouged out, his right hand was broken and there were injuries on the head.

Katulani DCI boss Collins Karanja confirmed that police had obtained custodial orders from the court to detain for questioning the two suspects who were last seen with the student.

“There’s very little we can divulge at the moment because the investigations are at the preliminary stage, but so far, we are holding two suspects and we are keen to establish the motive of the murder,” said the detective.

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