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Police detain wife of slain youth leader to probe ‘bitter’ SMS exchange


Police in Kitui have obtained court orders to detain the wife of slain Kitui youth leader, Benjamin Muema Kinyali, for seven days to enable them conclude investigations.

Meanwhile, the detectives also sought orders to compel telcos like Safaricom to release telephone communications between the woman and her deceased husband to help unravel the cause his death.

The suspect’s wife, Salome Kathini Wambua, who looked shaken as she appeared before Kitui Principal Magistrate Johnstone Munguti on Thursday, was arrested on Wednesday at Itoleka Police Station as she reported the death of her husband.

Wycliffe Onsando, the investigating officer, asked the court to allow police to detain the prime suspect at Itoleka Police station pending her appearance in court on Thursday April 25, 2019 to answer to charges.

“Your honour, preliminary investigations at the communication between the slain youth and the suspect indicate that they had a fragile relationship. They accused each other of infidelity. The text messages between the two bordered on bitterness as regards to their union,” said Onsando.

GRUESOME DEATH

The investigating officer told the court that police are also looking for seven accomplices who are still at large to buttress the case as it starts in earnest on April 25, when Kathini will be presented to court for a plea.

He said that the seven suspects will help unravel the gruesome death of the youth leader, whose partly burnt body was found dumped in a thicket in Katulani on Wednesday.

Confirming the death on Thursday, Katulani Sub-County Police Commander Eric Ng’etich said that the remains of Muema, who was an official of the National Youth Council in Kitui Rural Constituency, had burns on the chest and hands.

His body was discovered by passers-by in Kavou village who alerted police officers from Itoleka Police Station in Katulani Sub-County.

“Among the suspects who have been arrested include his wife, who works as an accountant at South Eastern Kenya University, for questioning to establish Kinyali’s last movements,” said Ng’etich.

MERRYMAKING

According to preliminary investigations, Kinyali was last seen on Tuesday evening drinking at Vanilla’s Bar in Kitui town with friends.

The friends later dropped him at his home at around 11pm after a night of merrymaking at the local joint that he frequented.

The police have since established that his killers are believed to have placed a used car tyre on his chest and doused his body in petrol then set it ablaze.

Ng’etich said that Kinyali’s body was party burnt on his hands and chest where the tyre had been placed.

Mourning the departed youth leader, Kitui County National Youth Council Chairman Aggrey Nzomo condemned the murder saying the youth had lost a visionary leader.

Nzomo challenged detectives handling the matter to expedite investigations with a view to apprehending the killers.

Ng’etich said that police are zeroing into crucial leads to ensure justice for the family of the slain youth official.