Family whose kin was killed by hyenas seeks help to bury two-year remains

Fredrick Kahuha (right) shows bags containing remains of his brother suspected to have been killed by hyenas in March 2017. [Jacinta Mutura/Standard]
A family has kept what it believes are the remains of its kin who was mauled by hyenas two years ago, awaiting clearance from the Government to bury him.

The family of Margaret Njeri, whose son was killed by hyenas in March 2017, has kept the remains in their house, awaiting the outcome of DNA results.

Joseph Njuguna was mauled by hyenas as he was grazing livestock at Munyu, Kiambu County. The family reported the matter at Kilimambogo Police Station, where they claim police directed them to keep body parts recovered from the scene of the attack until tests can confirm that they are human.

More than two years later, the family is still waiting for the Government’s instructions.

“We were asked by police officers to keep the remains after they took a few samples to Government’s chemist for DNA test, but we have not received any report on the case,” said Njuguna’s brother Fredrick Kahuha.

Inside his house, Kahuha has three bags containing different body parts of what he insists are his brother’s. They include rib bones and a skull. The bones have since dried. He also has tattered clothes he says his brother wore on the fateful day.

Kahuha says he identified what remained of Njuguna’s body after a neighbour who spotted his blood-soaked clothes alerted the family. “I went down to the scene and confirmed it was my brother after I saw his gumboots and his clothes. We later found his head a few metres from the scene,” he said.

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Njuguna’s mother says she has not known peace since her son’s death, especially with the bones still in their possession. “I cannot go near the remains,” she said.

She believes Njuguna’s father died from blood pressure triggered by his son’s death and the wait for burial.

The family faults Government for delaying the process to identify the remains as those of their son to enable them get a burial permit to inter them.

“I just want to bury him so my soul can be at peace,” said the mother.

According to former Thika East DCIO Titus Kutut, who handled the case, a DNA test was necessary to confirm that the remains were of a human being. It is also for this reason that the remains were not taken to a mortuary.

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Margaret NjeriMan mauled by hyenas