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.