A day set for celebration turned tragic after four men, mistaken to be cattle thieves, were brutally murdered last Sunday in Kitengela.
The two brothers and their two cousins had gone to visit a relative in Kitengela for a housewarming party and to celebrate the birthday of one of them.
Unbeknownst to them that would be the final journey for Fred Mureithi, 30, his younger brother Victor Mwangi who was celebrating his 25th birthday, and their two cousins Mike George, 29, and Nicholas Musa, 28.
At around 6pm, the two brothers left to look for a place they could buy chicken in Kisaju but a stop near a riverbank at Enkamulyat area, some 14km from Kitengela town, was where death lay in wait.
Residents who saw motorbikes parked by the riverbank thought the owners were out to steal their cattle.
They then raised alarm and without listening to the young men’s plea, speared the four to death.
The area which is commonly referred to Kitengela Reserve has had cases of cattle theft.
Close friends said the four had arrived in Kitengela in three motorcycles.
Upon their arrival, the four went to George’s sister’s newly built house where they were hosted.
A close friend of the four, Francis Ndegwa told the Star the four agreed to have a chicken for supper and that is when they went out on their three motorbikes to look for the chicken.
Ndegwa said when the four arrived at a riverbed and were about to cross, some people stopped them and inquired where they were going but even before they were answered, the residents raised alarm calling for back up and more residents came to the scene.
“Those who attacked them included members of Nyumba Kumi in Kitengela after accusing the four of being livestock thieves. Each of the four had a spear injury on the head,” he said.
According to Ndegwa, Mwangi and Mureithi’s mother resides in the UK. He said the brothers engage in business in Nairobi.
“The two were putting up a storey building for their mother in Syokimau, Machakos county. We have lost hardworking members of one family,” he said.
Kajiado county police commander Muthuri Mwongera said the four were fatally attacked in Kitengela on the evening of August 8 over suspicions of being thieves.
To access the place they were murdered, one has to drive along a murram road towards a quarry.
“This is a complicated case because they were attacked as they went about their businesses and no one had complained about stolen livestock,” Mwongera said.
The police boss said although the area where the four were killed had issues of livestock theft, it did not warrant that heinous attack and that they should have involved the police if it was necessary.
Mwongera said investigations have begun in search of the killers, adding that already the area chief is working with the DCI to get the culprits.
Both Mwangi and Mureithi are married and have one child each. Friends said they were planning a grand homecoming party for their mother who has been in the UK since 2018, and was set to return in a few months.
Relatives told the Star that the woman who only had two sons went into shock after receiving the news of their death and has been in hospital since then.
Police also noted that the killers burnt all the three motorbikes belonging to the four victims along with their identity cards.
Susan, a neighbour of Mwangi and Mureithi, described the two men as hardworking and who really adored their mother.
“Mureithi was in charge of their mother’s construction in Syokimau while Mwangi ran a graphic and designs shop in Nairobi CBD,” she said.
Susan said the two were businessmen in Nairobi dealing with printing and photocopying.
Mwongera said the bodies of the four were taken to City Mortuary in Nairobi.