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Father kills young son, injures daughter over avocado

A father killed his 12-year-old son, injured an eight-year-old daughter and their mother in a dawn attack on Thursday after they ate avocado from a neighbor’s farm in Mbaranga, Tigania East, Meru County.

Tigania East OCPD Samuel Kosgey said police and locals were still looking for the suspect, Morris Kirema, who went into hiding after the heinous act.

Mbaranga chief Kalung’e Mutia said the incident happened at around 4am in the morning.

The girl, who is in critical condition, and the mother are undergoing treatment at Muthara Sub County hospital.

Residents said the two ate a few fruits, from the neighbors’ farm on Wednesday morning causing the owner to demand payment.

Kirema, 35, is said to have threatened to kill the children, for stealing fruits, once they returned from school.

Mr Frankline Mutuma, a resident said the children escaped and hid in a bathroom before the father hunted them down and found them at around 3 am, Thursday.

BETTING ADDICT

“He descended on the boy with kicks, blows and a panga. He also attacked his wife and the daughter. The girl sustained cuts on the legs. She is also too weak to stand. Before neighbors responded to distress calls, the boy had died,” Mr Mutuma said.

He said the deceased suffered cuts and may have died from internal injuries due to the heavy kicks from the father.

Mr Mutuma attributed the attack on the man’s addiction to betting and alcohol causing family disputes.

“We understand that the man was enraged after he was asked for money to buy food. There have been disagreements on his betting addiction where he has been losing money. He threatened to punish the children when he learnt that he was to pay for the avocados,” he explained.

Mr Darius Thirinja said despite the government’s directive for eradication of betting machines, the vice was still prevalent in the area.

“Owners of slot machines are still operating in Mbaranga. The agony caused by the loss of money to betting may have contributed to this brutal action by a father,” Mr Thirinja said.

However, Chief Mutia disputed that there were betting dens in the area.

The body of the deceased was moved to Meru Level Five Hospital.