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Drama as angry mourners dump body in supermarket in Taita-Taveta County

By Renson Mnyamwezi | Published Fri, February 23rd 2018 at 11:49, Updated February 23rd 2018 at 11:55 GMT +3

Drama unfolded on Thursday evening when irate mourners dumped a casket with a body in a supermarket in Voi town, Taita-Taveta County.

The management of the supermarket and its customers were caught unawares as the mourners from Sagala location took the body inside opened it and started wailing to the amazement of many.

The deceased Amos Mwambanga and his unidentified colleague who were herders died in a controversial circumstance after they were forced to undertake an illegal oathing at Msherinyi village near Maungu Township along the Nairobi-Mombasa highway last week after being accused of stealing four goats belonging to the supermarket operators in the town.

Police preliminary investigations indicated that all the people present took the witch doctor’s brew who was hired from Tanzania to administer the oath to identify culprits who had stolen goats.

According to the Voi OCPD Joseph Chesire, the oath was suspected to have been laced with poison leading to the dead of the two herders suspected to have stolen four goats belonging to the said operator of the supermarket.

Relatives of the deceased said he had been herding the owners of the supermarket’s livestock since 2016.

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Mr Chesire said the aim of the oath was to identify the people who had stolen the lost goats.

The deceased mother Charity Mwandisha said she had received a call from one of the employers informing her of the sad news of her son’s death at the hands of the foreign witchdoctor.

“My brother was bleeding profusely from the ears and nose suggesting that he was poisoned,” claimed the deceased brother Joram Kaya.

An eye witness said immediately after taking the concoction, the two fell down and started writhing in pain hence dying shortly afterwards.

The bodies were later removed and taken to the Voi County Referral Hospital mortuary and investigation into the incident launched, said Mr Chesire.

In Thursday’s drama that took the Voi Central Business District by surprise, the mourners arrived at the scene in a pick-up carrying the dead body escorted by several motorcycles disrupting business for hours.

“The mourners took the body straight to the supermarket owned by two investors. They (mourners) offloaded the casket bearing the remains of the late Mwambanga and took it inside the supermarket and opened it,” said the police officer.

Police and eye witness the mourners said they opened the casket and started wailing attracting curious members of the public.

In the process, scores of customers stormed out while others remained confused and dumbfounded by the turn of events. Sources said others took advantage of the confusion and fled without paying for the goods.

According to the witnesses, the mourners were also demanding Sh 60,000 compensation so as to go and burry the deceased.

The mourners at the same time said they brought the body to the supermarket to pressurize the police to take action against those responsible for the death of their kin who are still scot free despite committing the alleged murder.

 “We want the witchdoctor and the deceased employer arrested and prosecuted for killing innocent people,” said one of the mourners.

When anti-riot police arrived at the scene of the incident, they ordered the mourners to remove the body immediately but defied. This forced the police to fire in the air several times to disperse the defiant mourners.

Chesire said police engaged the mourners in running battles and later took the body back to the mortuary and investigations launched.

The police officer said the act committed by the mourners was illegal and tantamount to prosecution.

“It is wrong to dump a dead body which was released for burial by the hospital authorities after postmortem was carried out to determine the cause of his death, which is still unknown. We are still investigating the matter and we will take those responsible to court,” warned Chesire Thursday.