Police in Taita-Taveta County have reported a major breakthrough after the arrest of the main suspect in the brutal murder of a middle-aged woman whose dismembered body was found dumped at a shopping center in Werugha ward on Monday morning.
The suspect has been on the run since Monday and was arrested at his hideout in Likoni following an intensive manhunt launched by homicide detectives.
Speaking to KNA on Thursday, Taita-Taveta County Police Commander Patrick Okeri confirmed the on Thursday morning arrest and said the suspect will be charged accordingly. “The main suspect in the tragic murder of the woman was arrested at dawn in Likoni where he had been hiding,” said the police boss.
The arrest marks a big score for the police who were under pressure from women leaders to apprehend the suspect.
The murder of the woman identified as Mary Mwamtungu, sent shockwaves through the sleepy town of Wundanyi prompting women leaders to issue demonstrations threats.
Her body was found dumped by a roadside at a shopping center in Werugha ward with the head, arms and legs missing. The body parts were later recovered from where they were buried in a shallow grave.
The Women Representative Lydia Haika condemned the murder and said police had to show commitment to safeguarding the lives of the local residents by arresting such deranged killers. “We are tired of all these violent crimes targeting women. The police must show that the government is protecting the lives of the people,” she said.
Women leaders for local rights groups vowed to stage demonstrations over the rising insecurity with some calling for removal of some security officers.
However, Mr Okeri, said police were fully committed to thwarting crime in the region and apprehending all criminals. He cited the arrest of the suspect at Likoni as an example of how security agencies work to bring criminals to justice.
“The suspect fled but we never rested in hunting him down. We now have him in custody. We are wholly committed to eliminating crime by working closely with the members of the public,” he said.
He added that it was unfair to accuse the police of incompetence while lawbreakers who are a menace to the society are being arrested and arraigned in court. He singled out a case of a notorious burglar who was behind a series of robberies in Wundanyi town who is now in police custody. “We arrested him and we have exhibits. This shows the police are working tirelessly,” he noted.
The police boss urged members of the public to work closely with law enforcement agencies to weed out criminal elements from the society.
He stated that effective law enforcement was a joint process between the public and the police through information sharing.
By Wagema Mwangi