See my January 20 and January 25, 2021 postings for background information on this ritual murder. Warning: some readers may find the story disturbing (webmaster FVDK).
Tharaka Nithi girl killed in bizarre ritual sacrifice buried
Published: January 27, 2021 By: The Nation, Kenya – Alex Njeru
The nine-year-old girl from Tharaka Nithi who was beheaded last week in what was suspected to be a ritual sacrifice was on Tuesday buried in an emotional ceremony at her home in Mpingu village, Maara Sub-county.
Bitter relatives, local leaders, teachers and the villagers eulogised Debra Kagendi, who was a Grade Two pupil at Kiurani Primary School, as an obedient girl and demanded justice over her killing.
The Ameru Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders led by Maara Constituency chapter vice-secretary, Mr Gilbert Kathendu, also castigated the heinous act and urged the residents to remain calm as the matter goes on in court but vowed to conduct a traditional ritual to curse the act.
The clergy also announced plans to conduct prayers in the region to cleanse the area of evil activities such as witchcraft.
Marimanti MCA Susan Ngugi and her Mwimbi counterpart Jonnes Kinegeni asked police to conduct thorough investigations and build a water-tight case against the suspected criminals.
Ms Ngugi decried the rise in child abuse and gender-based violence in Magutuni area and asked the local administration to weed out the criminals.
“We are urging those handling the murder case to make sure that the truth is known and justice is served,” said Ms Mwindu.
Mr Kinegeni urged parents to be keen on the whereabouts of their children, especially girls, because cases of child abuse are on the rise in the region.
Mwimbi Deputy County Commissioner Elaine Kaale assured the residents that investigation officers are doing everything to unearth the truth that they will present in court against the suspects.
She called for calm and warned the villagers against taking the law into their hands by doing any vengeful act.
The body of the girl was found at the home of a suspected witch-doctor, Mr Suleiman Mati Mukiira, 94, on January 17, 2021.
Maara Sub-County Police Commander Mohammed Jarso said they found the head of the girl at a different place from where the torso was.
He added that they also found carcasses of a goat and chicken with missing hearts.
Following the incident, police arrested Mukiira and Mr Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, who were presented in court as suspects.
Police asked for seven days to continue holding them as they conclud investigations.
On Monday, the two were brought before Senior Resident Magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi but did not take a plea as police asked for more time to conduct a post-mortem on the girl’s body and also take the suspects for a mental tests.
Suspects in Tharaka Nithi ritual sacrifice remanded 7 days
Published: January 19, 2021 By: Nation, Kenya – Alex Njeru
What you need to know:
The accused are 94-year-old Suleiman Mati Mukira from the village in Mwimbi, whom police say is a witchdoctor, and his client Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32.
Police in Tharaka Nithi County have seven days to conclude investigations into the gruesome murder of a nine-year-old girl from Mpingu village in Maara Sub-county.
The accused are 94-year-old Suleiman Mati Mukira from the village in Mwimbi, whom police say is a witchdoctor, and his client Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, from Kariakomo village in neighboring Ganga Ward.
In their application, police said they needed enough time to thoroughly probe the shocking incident believed to have been a ritual killing.
They further argued that the two should remain in police custody because their security is not guaranteed.
Before Senior Resident Magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi, the investigating team also said the first suspect, Mr Riungu, is a flight risk.
“Police are seeking seven days to conclude the investigation before preferring charges,” said the prosecution.
In their affidavit, police also told the court that Mr Riungu, who had visited Mr Mukira for his services, beheaded the Grade Two child of his neighbour.
Asked whether he was against the police request for him to remain in custody for the seven days, Mr Riungu did not object.
Mr Mukira requested to be released on bond arguing that he is old and sickly and that since the incident happened, he has been suffering from depression. He also cited a urinary tract infection.
The court remanded the two, nothing the need for them to undergo mental checks before standing trial.
• Court orders suspected witchdoctor and client detained for seven days for investigation and psychiatric assessment in connection with an apparent ritual beheading.
• When police arrived on Sunday afternoon, they said they found two men – a ‘traditional healer’ and his ‘client’ – eating meat. It was not clear if it was human flesh, a beheaded sacrificial goat or a chicken whose heart had been ripped out.
An elderly man and his ‘client’ accused of beheading a nine-year-old girl will be detained for seven days on suspicion of witchcraft ritual murder.
The killer or killers ripped out the heart of the victim, Deborah Kagendi Kinengeni, who regularly delivered milk. She was brilliant, cheerful and talkative, a Chuka High Court was told on Tuesday.
The girl’s father, Ignasius Mutunga, who spoke at their home said his daughter was attending church when she was summoned to his home by the elderly traditional healer. She went willingly because she often delivered milk to him.
The girl’s brother, Evans Mawira, said he had asked the old man where his sister was. He said the old man told him to take his cows in exchange for her, the court heard.
Police in Tharaka Nithi county were allowed by a Chuka High Court on Tuesday to detain Suleiman Mati Mukira of Mpingu village in Mwimbi whom the police described as a “witchdoctor”.
Also ordered detained was his accused ‘client’, Michael Ngugi Riungu, 32, from Kariakomo village in neighbouring Ganga ward.
In an affidavit, police told the court Riungu had visited Mukira for “spiritual treatment” and beheaded the Grade 2 neighbour girl.
When police arrived on Sunday afternoon, they said they found two men – a ‘traditional healer’ and his ‘client’ – eating meat. It was not clear if it was human flesh, a beheaded sacrificial goat or a chicken whose heart had been ripped out.
The detention is to allow for investigations. The two men have not been charged in connection with the Sunday afternoon murder and suspected witchcraft.
They will undergo a psychiatric assessment before being charged and entering a plea.
It is against the law to practice witchcraft and sentences can be as long as 10 years. Murder carries a life sentence.
Police told senior resident magistrate Mwanamkuu Sudi, the investigating team considers Riungu a flight risk. They said both men’s lives were in danger from an enraged public if they are released.
Congregants at the nearby Ambassador for Christ Fellowship heard the girl’s screams, called police and rushed to the scene.
The body was found hidden in a gunny in a goat shed. The head was found in the compound.
Warning: the graphic contents of the following articles may shock readers. (webmaster FVDK).
Girl’s severed head found in ‘witch doctor’s’ house
Published: January 19, 2021 By: The Star, Kenya – By Cyrus Ombati and Gerald Mutehia
•Residents at a church at Magutuni said they heard screams from the girl, so they rushed to the scene, a so-called ‘witch doctor’s’ house.
• She had been slaughtered, and so had a goat. The men were feasting on meat – whose?
Police are holding a suspected witch doctor and his client after a nine-year-old girl was beheaded and her heart cut out in a ritual murder in Tharaka Nithi.
When police arrived on Sunday afternoon, they said they found two men – a ‘traditional healer’ and his client – eating meat. It was not clear if it was human flesh, a beheaded sacrificial goat or a chicken whose hearts had been ripped out.
The girl was a milkmaid who regularly delivered milk and was seeking payment.
Congregants from a nearby church said they had reprimanded Suleiman Mati Mukira 94, from Mpingu village, Kiroo sub-location and his client. The police report also named Mukira.
Congregants heard the girls’ screams, raised the alarm and rushed to the scene.
The body in a gunny bag and the severed head were recovered from the witch doctor’s home on Sunday afternoon.
Police said they demanded to be shown the girl who screamed and was shown a girl’s headless torso.
The homeowner told police his client had slaughtered the girl as a sacrifice.
Police identified the girl as Deborah Kagendi Kinengeni who had delivered milk to the homestead.
The men turned violent when police were called to the scene and conducted a search leading to more discoveries.
The body of the child was found hidden in a goat shed. The head was found nearby.
Police said they also found slaughtered chickens whose hearts had been ripped out.
Eastern head of DCI Jeremiah Ikiao said they are trying to establish if the murder was isolated or part of serial ritual murders.
“It looks like a ritual but we will know more as investigators work on the incident,” he said. The remains of the girl were moved to the mortuary.
Police plan to produce the two in court and seek time to hold them while they conduct investigations.
“OCS Magutuni, DCI officers and SCPC Maara rushed to the scene and found the child having been killed. Her body was concealed in a goat shed, her head was cut off and placed outside the goat shed.
“Outside the compound was a slaughtered goat. Inside Mukira’s house was a slaughtered chicken and witchcraft items,” a police report seen by the Star reads.
Preliminary observation has shown that the girl’s heart was missing, police said. Witchcraft paraphernalia were found nearby. Police collected two blood-stained pangas.
Police at Ntumu station are holding the suspects as they investigate.
The body was taken to Chuka Hospital morgue for a postmortem.
Kenya: Murdered Tharaka Nithi Girl Victim of Ritual Sacrifice
Published: January 19, 2021 By: Nation Media Group, Kenya – Alex Njeru
A key suspect in Sunday’s bizarre murder of a nine-year-old girl from Mpingu village in Maara Sub-county, Tharaka Nithi County, has claimed that he was offering a sacrifice to a witchdoctor.
In a shocking revelation to the parents of the murdered girl at Chogoria Police Station where the 32-year-old man is in custody, he said he had been directed to sacrifice a girl, goat and a chicken and surrender the hearts so that he could be protected from his relatives “who were planning to kill him”.
The suspect is being held together with the alleged 94-year-old witchdoctor. The suspect from Kariakomo village in Ganda ward, and who is a frequent visitor of the old man according to villagers, confessed that he killed a white chicken, a goat and the girl; whom the old man called from a nearby church.
Addressing the media, Maara Sub-county Police Commander Mohammed Jarso said the hearts of the slaughtered goat and chicken were missing but that of the girl was intact.
“The girl was beheaded but no part of the body was missing,” said Mr Jarso.
Police said the suspected witchdoctor claimed that his client turned violent and killed the goat and chicken before turning on the girl, who was picking some passion fruits at his farm.
Pick a bottle
He claimed that he had called the girl to pick a bottle that she had used to deliver some milk to him in the morning.
Mr Jarso said the matter is still under investigation, but added that the key suspect could be suffering from mental illness.
According to police, the old man reported the murder.
The villagers, among them worshippers at the Full Gospel Church led by Ms Josephine Mpuria, however claim that he rushed to the police after sensing danger from the residents who were threatening to lynch the two.
Ms Mpuria said the old man has been suspected of practicing witchcraft for a long time, but most of his customers come from far-off places.
“Everybody in the village knows the old man as a witch-doctor and it has never been a secret,” said Ms Mpuria. She added that they suspect the old man has been demanding human sacrifices from his clients, and asked the police to conduct thorough investigations including searching his houses and farm.
Mr Evans Mawira, the girl’s brother, said that, when asked what had happened, the old man told him that he was ready to give him his only dairy cow in exchange for the girl.
“When I pushed the old man from where he was sitting down, I discovered the head of my sister and screamed in shock,” said Mawira.
Mr Ignatius Mutunga, the girl’s father, who received news of the heinous act while in Nairobi where he works, pleaded for justice to be done noting that the old man should not try to exonerate himself from the crime.
He said that, although he had been hearing that the old man is a witchdoctor, he has been selling milk to him and his children delivered it when they were not in school.
“I have lost my loving daughter and I am pleading for justice,” said Mr Mutunga.
The incident has left the villagers in shocked.
The two are expected to be arraigned in Chuka today (Tuesday).