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Nine found guilty of killing Kamaindi chief, to be sentenced on Thursday

Nine people accused of hacking to death and burning the body of Kamaindi location chief, Japhet Mayau Mukengu on April 30, 2019, will know their fate on Thursday this week.

The accused; Gerald Njeru Kibau, Julius Mburu Kinanga, Leah Muthoni Ngige, Cecilia Kambura, Julius Njeru, Jediel Munyua, Tom Kinyua, John Nthiga and Jornard Njagi Kibiube have been found guilty of murder by Chuka High Court.

The murder happened at the home of the chief’s brother, Gikware Mukengu within Kamaindi location following a dispute over four goats that had trespassed into the latter’s farm.

On Tuesday, the court heard a probation office report on the nine accused persons, the reaction by the state counsel, Ms Felister Njeru who asked the court to give the accused a serious custodial imprisonment commensurate to the heinous act.

In his detailed and passionate mitigation, the accused counsel, Mr Mark Ashaba pleaded with the court to consider that the nine are first-time offenders and are all remorseful for what happened.

He added that most of them are sickly senior citizens with the oldest being 81 years and four others above 60 years and with big families to take care of.

He added that the accused were peacefully arrested at their homes while others submitted themselves to police stations and they cooperated with the authority even while attending the court sessions from outside.

“I plead with the court to consider giving my clients a non-custodial sentence or the hybrid of which includes custodial and non-custodial because some are old and sickly,” said Mr Ashaba.

Ashaba added that the nine are family members and there are two couples and if awarded a custodial sentence, the families will be destroyed.

“Having listened to the report by the provision officer, the prosecutor’s reaction and the mitigation by the defense lawyer, I need time to write the ruling that I will read on Thursday this week at 11am,” said Judge Lucy Gitari.

The murder of the chief also led to the killing of Chuka OCS Joseph Kinyua as he pursued a suspect at Ugweri market in the neighbouring Embu County, shocking the entire country.

Kinyua was hacked using an axe by some suspects, among them, David Ikaba, a butcher who was also shot dead. The OCS murder case is also active in court in Embu County.

anjeru@ke.nationmedia.com

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