Murder! Murder! Murder!
The news headlines for September could have set a new national record,
sparking off debate in offices, homes, social media and social places about the
state of Kenyan society.
With the string of sensational gruesome and senseless killings, concern
peaked in the country on the safety of womenfolk who seem
to be the main casualties.
Danger beckons everywhere you look. And the victims cut across all
ages and gender.
Are people more than before now quick to anger and kill for
revenge or to fix relationship issues?
According to the Economic Survey 2018, there has been a steady
rise in the number of murders over the last three years.
In 2014, police recorded 2,649 murder cases across the country. It
dropped to 2,648 in 2015 but increased marginally to 2,751 in 2017.
Though no explanation is offered for the murders or the gender of
those involved, cases involving relationships have been on the rise.
Sharon’s killing is still etched in the minds of
many. According to the post-morterm report, the 29-year old pregnant mother
of two was raped, strangled, and stabbed eight times.
Migori governor Okoth Obado and his aide, Michael Oyamo,
have so far been charged with murder as police search for the killers.
Monica who was buried yesterday, on the other hand, had
her throat slit in her house in Nairobi’s Kilimani estate.
Police have arrested one suspect, John Irungu aka Jowi, in
connection with the murder of the 29-year old woman.
Mariben the daughter of Caroline Kemei, the senior resident
magistrate at Githongo law courts in Meru, was kidnapped after being dropped
from school by a person police say was known to her.
Although the murders of Sharon Otieno, Monica Nyawira and Maribel
Kapolon have dominated the limelight, many more others may not have made it to
At least ten people — and these are only those that found their way
into the media —majority of them women and girls have in the past five months been
killed by people they were close to.
“I want young people to know that it is not cool to kill your
boyfriend or girlfriend even where you feel disappointed or frustrated – don’t
do it. Instead, it is cool to walk away and thereafter to forgive,” Justice
Jessie Lessit said in July while sentencing Langata Prison inmate Ruth Kamande.
She had been found guilty of stabbing her boyfriend 22 times in
2015 in Nairobi’s Buru Buru estate.
In Kisii, Alvina Maracha 17, a Form 4 candidate at Sengera SDA
Secondary School, was last Sunday night lured out of her house while revising
for next month’s national examinations.
Her body was found inside a fish pond the following day. Her mother
suspected she was murdered by a former boyfriend, a local boda boda operator.
On Wednesday, a Webuye man is reported to have killed his
estranged wife, Phoebe Nanjala, 23, before fleeing. The body was found with
four stab wounds near a bakery where she works.
In Mombasa, police are trying to establish the cause of the death
of 28-year old Jackline Ngugi whose dangling body was found in her room.
Incessant cries from Jackline’s one-year old child got the
attention of her neighbours who forced their way in only to discover her
On Friday, in Ngubereti village in Mogotio sub-county, 50-year old
Barnabas Kosgei killed his five-month pregnant wife over what neighbours
suspect was a domestic fight. Stella Ruto’s body was discovered lying in a pool
of blood. A mother of five, she had previously run away from home for two
On September 8, Dickson Samba was allegedly pushed to his death
from the fourth floor of a building in Umoja estate, Nairobi, following a
In August, Melsa Akinyi, a 13-year old pupil in Standard 7 at
Obwolo Primary School in Kisumu East was found dead. Her decomposing body was found in the
sugarcane plantation after she was reported missing for two weeks.
She was last seen on July 29 after leaving the Kisumu ASK Show at
Mamboleo grounds. Her uncle, Dalmas Agutu, said Akinyi left the showground to
visit her aunt who lives at Kenya Sugar Research Foundation quarters in Kibos.
In March this year, yet another nine-year-old girl, Sharlene
Mwanzia, who had gone missing for five days in Kakamega was discovered inside a
water tank behind her parent’s house at Scheme Estate in Kakamega.
neighbours in retaliation set ablaze the house of the father of the man
suspected to be behind Sharlene’s kidnap and death.
Counselling psychologist Josephine Kinya attributes the rising spectre
of violence to moral decay in modern families. The older generation, she says,
was brought up and modelled better.
She says the boy child has been neglected and is growing up
without the solid foundation of good family morals.
“There is a problem facing the current generation and unless all
society members act, we are yet to witness the worst,” she says.
“Youth are rushing into
relationships without taking time to learn their partners. Within a very short
period they get married. When they start settling down, the differences they
have dawn on them,” she says.
According to Peter Njao, the chairman of the Nairobi chapter
of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya,
the fabric of the nation is already broken.
“We no longer
promote values like we used to before. Vices like killing innocent people and
rape have unfortunately become the new norms.”
Most of the cases appear to target women and children, according
to Creaw executive director Wangechi Wachira.
According to the gender activist, the institutions mandated to
deal with such crimes should act expeditiously and special courts set up to try
“As Kenyans we have a responsibility to ensure that there’s
protection and safety for our women,” she said.
“We are really looking, watching and being vigilant with these
cases so that they don’t end up like so many other murders in which we don’t
know what exactly happened to those women,” she added.
The Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA) raised alarm over
“The brutal murder of Monica Kimani is a clear indication of the
high level of insecurity in Kenya. FIDA Kenya strongly condemns the increasing
number of killings of young women. IG Joseph Boinet and DCI must conduct
thorough investigations to bring the culprits to book,” the organization said.
A parent, Tom Chitechi, said a breakdown in the close-knit family
unit can also be attributed to some of killings.
“Boys and girls are no longer conducting due diligence on
some of the friends they meet in clubs or social media,” he said.
He said in the early days, one’s background and mannerism was
checked before a serious relationship commenced.
“We also do not care to know who the friends of our children
are or who they hang out with and only get shocked when stuff happens,” he
Women Senators have also expressed concern over increasing cases
of violence against young women and girls in the country. They however
said the violence was also affecting men and young boys.
The Kenya Women Senators Association members meeting in Eldoret urged
the police and the DPP to ensure perpetrators of murder and violence against
women are arrested and prosecuted.
Chairperson Mary Yiane and ten other senators lamented the
increase in cases of murder, rape, defilement and attacks on women.
“Parent should take up their roles in guiding and counselling
girls to be careful on the relationships they engage in to avoid falling into
dangerous hands,” said Yiane.
Nominated senator Christine Zawadi said a decay in morals is to
blame for the rise in such violent crimes.
She said courts should mete out harsh penalties against those
“We know many cases go unreported and the violence also
affects men and young boys. We condemn the violence and call for restraint in
society,” said Senator Alice Milgo.
The senators said they would
team up with other groups to sensitise society on the need to avoid violence
and instead sort out disputes through dialogue and counselling.