In a sleepy village of Mbari ya igi in Kiambaa , Kiambu County, lies a fresh grave. The freshness of the soil on the grave is testimony that the person whose body lies beneath, has not been forgotten.
The residents, more so to his parents who are still grieving, any sight of a visitor in the home seems to bring a ray of hope to the family, that the killers of their kin have been arrested.
The red soil is also testimony that the body was interred recently, a fact which brings unsurmountable pain to the family of the deceased, John Njoroge Kimiti, a fourth born in a family of two boys and two girls.
The family of Njoroge is yet to come to terms with death of their 32-year-old Njoroge, whose demise remains a mystery to the family, entire villager and even beyond.
Three weeks ago, the deceased left home, saying he was headed for Kiambu County Offices. He had been working as a casual laborer at the Environment Department for the better part of last year as a garbage collector.
Whenever there was an opportunity for a casual job, the deceased would be readily available to fill the gap of any absentee on the garbage collection trucks.
It was for this reason that he thought he would be offered another opportunity this year so that the Department can fully engage him as he thought he had acquired enough experience on the job.
On the fateful day, he left home at about 10.00 a.m. with the intention of delivering his application letters to the County Government offices. He was never seen alive again until two weeks later when his remains were fished out of a dam, near Kiambu Boys High School.
The firefighting personnel were called by Police officers in Kiambu and notified of the body inside the water dam. At first, those who spotted it reported that they had thought it was a piece of cloth, but on close examination, they discovered that it was a person who had apparently drowned.
A report had been made to the police in Karuri, a day after he failed to return home and the family was eagerly waiting for feedback of his whereabouts.
They were at pains that their kin‘s remains had been found but the shocking bit is that it had taken a whole two weeks for the remains to be recovered. The body had since been taken to the city mortuary in Nairobi County.
According to Simon Kang’ethe, Chief of Kiambaa Location in Kiambu County, post mortem examination on the body of the deceased who hailed from his area revealed that his skull to the right side had been damaged by a blunt object.
Kang’ethe who talked to KNA, noted that the eyes had also been gouged out by possibly by aquatic creatures in the dam water. He said what led the family to positively identify their kin was the pair of shoes he wore and the trouser he had on the day.
He was last seen alive that made them be certain that the body was actually his. The deceased’s National identification was recovered in one of the pockets while still in a good condition and they breathed a sigh of relief that at least they were going to give him a decent burial.
What remains to pain his family as they continue to mourn the cruel death of this young man, is the reason as to why he died, who murdered him and for what reason and if at all the killers will ever be brought to book.
“How can someone be murdered in broad daylight” asked his distraught father when he talked to KNA later after the burial. He is still in shock that someone can possibly hijack an adult during the day and lead him to a location where they can brutally murder him.
The octogenarian could not hide his pain as he showed this author some photographs of his kin while he worked on the garbage truck.
The father says his son was single and a hustler who did not have much money that can warrant his death, which he says was unexpected as he was in good health and bubbling with life. This person would only be paid 300 shillings per day and he would be happy to have worked, the father said.
More so, following corona virus pandemic that hit the country in March this year, the deceased had gone for many days without some income that would-be killers would have been pursuing when they sniffed out his life prematurely and threw his body in water to make it appear that he could have committed suicide.
The old man says police should not leave any stone unturned, adding that security agents should help the family unravel the mystery surrounding his son’s death.
The family would like to know, who killed him and why, where did they hide the body for a record two weeks before it was recovered in the water?
These are some of the questions that keep disturbing and lingering in the minds of the Kimiti’s as they keep staring blankly at the grave in the family cemetery that comprises other seven.
According to Kiambu Police Station OCS, Isaack Kimutus, most of the criminal activities in the area border on drunkenness, assault, child neglect, disobedient to the health conditions amid Covid-19 which is the current one.
“People being killed and their bodies being dumped into rivers is something new which is creeping up in this region as we have not seen many of such cases,” he asserted, while talking to KNA from his office.
Area Member of the County Assembly (MCA), Peter Wainaina Njoroge (aka) Boxer, told the mourners during his burial last Thursday, that the young man had been a hard working youth who was ready to undertake any chores assigned to him and that he ended up being picked on most of the time, whenever there was an absentee in the Department.
The MCA described the deceased, who is also his cousin as obedient, trustworthy and very hard working man who had a lot of respect for elders and willing to avail himself voluntarily for any assignment.
He regretted that the killers of the deceased had not been arrested and called for speedy investigations into the death which he said was premature.
Njoroge appreciated those who had condoled with the family and also the firefighting Department personnel who fished out the body from the deepest location of the dam.
He called on the police to fast track their investigations in the murder, while ruling out the possibility of the deceased having committed suicide, owing to the fact that the body was recovered in the dam, which was used to irrigate coffee plantations.
By Lydia Shiloya