By Marion Ndung’u
Residents of Ruthanji village in Mukurweini, Nyeri ganged up against a family in the area claiming that they had been bothering them for a long time with their errant ways.
Diana Wanjiku, 45, found herself in the middle of a confrontation after she accused the area chief of beating her son mercilessly. She had enlisted the help of Maendeleo ya Wanaume chairman Nderitu Njoka after her son was beaten up.
But in a strange twist, the community turned against her, claiming Wanjiru’s son was a thief.
Rosemary Wairimu said that for a long time the family had been a source of untold misery to the community. She claimed that the chief, who Diana had accused of beating her son, had not been behind the beatings and that in fact, it is members of the public who had become fed up with her son.
Wanjiku said that some people had come to her home at midnight and called out her son out led him to a bush where they beat him for hours. She maintained that her son was a good child who attended a nearby academy, a claim many women refuted saying that her son would leave as if to go to school but would hide in the bushes the whole day.
“She is usually at her shop in Mukurweini. How would she know whether her son is in school? We are the ones who see him idling during the day. We can’t leave anything outside because he will steal it,” said Mercy Wainaina, a resident.
Accusations flew from members of the community with one woman even claiming that the boy had even threatened to rape her. Amos Gitonga, a resident, called for the two clans in the area to come together and find a solution.
“The other day, a neighbour’s house burnt down because when people ignored the screams thinking they were from this family because they are always quarreling, fighting and screaming. If you go to help them, they take the opportunity to steal from a neighbour’s house. The other day, her children locked her in the house for hours and she was only able to leave with the help of the same community that she is now fighting,” said an angry member of the community.
Wanjiku retorted that none of the items reported stolen were ever found in her house but community members claimed that she never allowed people into her home.