Suspects in Matungu killings released for lack of evidence

Kassim Chitechi Malala when he appeared before Justice Jesse Njagi to answer to two counts of murder. [Jack Murima, Standard]
A court has freed eight suspects linked to Matungu killings.

This is after the court was told that officers attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had not found sufficient evidence to link the suspects with the gruesome murders.

The eight have been in police custody for two weeks.

Corporal Andrew Mateba told Kakamega Chief Magistrate that the two weeks investigations had not placed any of the suspects at the centre of the organised criminal gang that has been terrorising residents of Matungu for the last three months.

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“We have not got substantive evidence to link the suspects herein with the criminal activities taking place in Matungu. For these reasons, we pray that they be freed as investigations continue,” said Mr Mateba.

Last week, six more suspects were discharged without any charges being preferred against them.

Investigations are, however, ongoing with a contingent of officers attached to the General Service Unit maintaining law and order in the area.

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Only one suspect has been charged in the High Court with murder of a woman and her three-year-old daughter.

Kassim Chitechi Malala was accused of killing Petronilla Roda Mungayi and her daughter Shaleen Okhasia on May 4.

The accused, jointly with others not before court, was alleged to have raided their house at Sayangwe village in Matungu sub-county.

Sale of land

According to documents tendered in court, a gang of five people armed with machetes stormed the house of Stephen Rapachi at around 10.30pm when the family had just retired to bed.

The gang demanded money from the sale of family land.

Approximately five days before the incident, Rapachi had sold part of his land at Sh105,000 and had received a deposit of Sh55,000.

The attackers, court documents indicate, broke into the house and demanded the money. The court was told the attackers stabbed Rapachi’s wife Roda in the stomach before strangling their three-year-old daughter Shaleen.

Chitechi was arrested on May 5 alongside one Ayub Imbuyi who is yet to be arraigned for the capital offence.

The police recovered knives in Chitechi’s house and a toy pistol at Imbuyi’s house.

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Matungu killingsDCIKakamega Chief MagistrateGeneral Service UnitKassim Chitechi MalalaSale of land