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Family seeks justice for son who died after circumcision

Lucy Njoki, sister to Juliano Kanyonyo who died a day after undergoing circumcision almost a week ago and was in the process of initiation into manhood when he died. He scored 376 marks in the just released KCPE results.

A family in Gatitu village, Muranga South Sub-County is seeking justice for their son, who died under mysterious circumstances following a circumcision ritual.
The boy a 2018 KCPE candidate went on to score an impressive 375 points in the examination but the family of Juliano Kanyonyo, 15, has been mourning instead of celebrating the achievement of their son who emerged third in their school.
He had repeated class eight so as to get better marks to take him to a national school, according to the family.
In the Kikuyu culture, boys are circumcised after completing class eight. They are either taken to church for guidance and counseling, or guided by older boys while still at their homes.
After healing and being taken through guidance and counseling, the family to the boy gives out a cock which is slaughtered and taken for supper by those who took care of him during the entire period. The family wants the boys questioned and those found culpable brought to book.
“We were looking forward to the announcement of the results because we believed that he would pass. His dreams were to get to a national school, university and get a good job to help the family get out of poverty,” said his sister Lucy Njoki.
He was found dead on his bed in a house he had built less than five metres from the family’s main house, with whitish foam coming out of his mouth at around 9am on Sunday by his mother.
He did not have injury marks on his body and the family believes that their son died of poisoning.
Njoki says their brother died under the watch of other older boys who according to the Kikuyu culture had been given the responsibility to protect and prepare him for the upcoming responsibilities as a man.
“We want to know what killed our brother. He was a bright boy and we had a lot of hope in him. We had gone through a lot as a family since the death of our father about 10 years ago and only depended on our mother, a casual labourer for everything. Now our hope is gone,” said a distressed Njoki.
During a visit by the press to the family Wednesday, Kanyonyo’s mother was away at the Thika Level 5 Hospital morgue to witness his son’s post mortem.
Gatitu Primary School head teacher Mshara Ng’ang’a described the boy as well disciplined and bright, adding that news of his demise came as a shock to the school fraternity.
He said the school had a lot of hope in him and had planned to educate him through to secondary school.
“He has been with us since ECDE and we have been instrumental in seeing him complete his primary school. We were planning on funding his secondary education since he comes from a poor background,” he said.
He called on the government to conclusively investigate the matter and ensure the family gets justice.
By Muoki Charles

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