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Chief, OCS killings puts two villages in lockdown state : The Standard



Deserted homes in Kamaindi location in Tharaka Nithi County. Owners fled their homes after GSU officers arrived following the killing of Chuka OSC Joseph Kinyua and and Kamaindi chief Mayau Mukengu.

Activities in two villages, Kamaindi in Tharaka-Nithi County and Ugweri in Embu County recently came to a standstill following a gruesome murder of a chief and a senior police officer respectively that led to deployment of the most feared General Service Unit (GSU).

The Kamaindi Chief Josphat Mayau Mukengu was slashed into pieces with panga to death and later burned behold recognition by reportedly irate villagers following a prolonged land dispute with neighbors.
The chief had been sent by Igambang’ombe Deputy County Commissioner Fred Masinjila to solve a dispute between his brother, Mr Gikware Mukengu, and a villager whose goats had encroached on the former’s land.
Meanwhile, Chuka OCS Joseph Kinyua was also hacked to death with an axe in Ugweri market by a suspect in the chief’s murder, who he was pursuing in Embu County the following day in company of two other junior police officers and an informer.

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The suspect, Mr David Ikaba, was also shot dead killed by police while the informer was seriously injured by mob and has been in critical condition at Tenri Hospital in Embu County.
Just a day after the OCS was killed; GSU officers and other regular police officers were deployed in the villages in hundreds and for the fear of government wrath and the residents of the two areas ? ed their homes with their children leaving behind all their property.
A spot check by the Mount Kenya Star News Paper, established that livestock remained for more than three days in their sheds with no one to attend to them.
The villagers had ?ed to the neighboring villages where it was safe from the angry police and were hosted by their relatives while others rented rooms for their families at Kathwana and Chiakariga markets.
For about three days police combed the empty villages and were only welcomed by lonely cats and dogs that were left to take care of themselves.

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Mount Kenya Star met with Mr James Mwiti, a resident of Kamaindi area at Chiakariga market where he had rented a room with his family and said he would only go back to Kamaindi after all everything had settled and police went back.
“I cannot go back home because I know GSU beats not only people but also livestock,” said Mr Mwiti.
At Ugweri, the situation was the same and all neighboring were almost empty because parents had ?ed with their children. Shops also remained closed for almost a whole week in Ugweri and Mbaria markets in Embu County and Tharaka-Nithi County respectively.
It was until the administration officers from the two counties led by county commissioners assured the residents that innocent people would not be arrested or beaten that they slowly started returning home.
Mr Nicholas Kimani, a businessman in Ugweri market told Mount Kenya Star that he encountered a loss of more than Sh20, 000 because all the meat in his butchery got rotten as he hid in Embu town where he had ?ed to.

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He said he went back to Ugweri after three days only to be welcomed by odour smell and house?ies on opening the door.
“I lost a lot of money but I care for my life more than the Sh20, 000,” said Mr Kimani. So far ?ve people have been arrested and arraigned in an Embu court in connection to the murder of the OCS and six charged in Chuka court in connection to killing of the chief.
According to villagers, the brutal killings were sparked by a long-running land dispute between the chief, his brothers Gikware Mukengu and Njoka Mukengu and their neighbours.
Mr Samuel Mati, a villager said that in early December last year, Gikware and his sons barred villagers against accessing a section of Thuci River where they used to fetch water or water their animals.

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The locals protested and Igambang’ombe Deputy County Commissioner visited the village and held a peace meeting but nothing changed.
He said on December 12 Gikware and his sons fenced off the entire part of the river, making it completely inaccessible to the locals.

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