Co-accused cop promised compensation to Kianjakoma family, kin tells court
A police officer on trial for the brutal murder of the Kianjakoma brothers told family members that their deaths would be “paid for.”
Just minutes after learning of the heinous murders, the officer, sitting in the vehicle that transported Benson Njiru and Emanuel Mutura bodies to the mortuary, told the family that insurance would compensate them.
“I was very hurt by that statement,” said Felix Njagi, Njiru and Mutura’s uncle.
Njagi told Justice Daniel Ogembo that he, his brother John Ndwiga and his wife Catherine Wawira (the parents), and other relatives had gone to the Manyatta Police Station to find out what had happened to his nephews when he met PC James Mwaniki.
He found Mwaniki inside the Land Cruiser that had been used in the arrest and later to transport Njiru and Mutura’s bodies to the morgue.
“When we found out about the murders, I went outside to sit. I noticed Mwaniki seated in the Landcruiser, and we began to talk,” Njagi explained.
He claimed that Mwaniki told him during their conversation that the insurance would pay the family’s losses, but he was hurt because “you can never repay for a lost life.”
Mwaniki is on trial alongside Consolata Kariuki, Nicholas Cheruyoit, Martin Wanyama, and Lilian Chemuna, as well as Benson Mputhia, who oversaw command on the night of the killings.
Njagi told the court that while at Manyatta, he met Mputhia and asked him what had happened to his nephews, but he did not respond.
“I asked him what happened to my nephews, and he just looked at me and kept quiet,” he said.
Njagi also stated that he accompanied the parents during post-mortem examinations. He explained that while their faces were unharmed, their heads had been smashed.
When asked how he knew they had smashed heads, Njagi replied, “Do you have any idea what a rotten tomato looks like?” I am not a pathologist, but I know how badly their heads were.”
Njagi said one of the brothers, whose shirt was open had black marks on the chest and it looked like had been run over by a vehicle.
He said they also realised that the boys had no phones on them or any money, and that was suspicious because that day, they had spent the entire day selling pork and had told their parents that they had made a good sale.
The two brothers, whom their parents described as industrious and hardworking, went missing on August 1, 2021.
Their bodies were discovered at Embu Level 5 hospital mortuary three days after they were arrested by police from Manyatta police station, causing a protest in the Kianjokoma area.
Before their phones went off, the two had called their mother to say they were on their way home but would stop at the town center to see their friends.
According to their two friends, Mutura, 19, and Njiru, 22, were jovial that night.
They were arrested at around 9.17 pm, as they walked back home after spending some time with their friends.
Their friends who were with them and testified in court earlier said they used a backstreet.
They saw a police vehicle and a man standing outside while another was holding a stick.
Njiru then suggested that they should all run. They started running, but Mutura tripped and fell.
Njiru stopped and returned to where his brother had fallen.
The friends said they heard a sound like someone was being beaten with a stick, prompting them to run for their lives.