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Parents of Kianjokoma brothers narrate last moments with sons

Kianjokoma brothers' burial site. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Nothing is more painful to a parent as losing a child, especially in a suspected case of extrajudicial killing.

This is the reality that the parents of two Kianjokoma brothers are staring at as they testified against six police officers over the killing of Benson Njiru Ndwiga and Emmanuel Mutura Ndwiga, on August 1, 2021 at Kianjokoma village in Embu County.

To the parents, John Ndwiga and Catherine Wawira, their sons were promising, hardworking young men who had taken the mantle to run the family businesses.

“My sons were wonderful boys and very industrious. I couldn’t believe when I saw their bodies. They must have suffered a lot before their deaths based on the fractures they had,” Ndwiga.

Ndwiga and Wawira could not contain their emotions as they narrated their last memories of their 21 and 19-year-old sons, the last conversations they had and the three-day search that ended with the disfigured bodies found in a mortuary.

Ndwiga testified that on August 1, 2021, his sons were at the family shop in Kianjokoma market selling pork. He says they spoke last at around 4pm but when he got home at 10pm, his wife informed him that the boys had not returned.

“It was very unusual for them to stay out late. I tried calling them but their phones were not going through.”

Hopeful that their sons will come back, Ndwiga left both the gate and the doors open so that the boys would not wake them up but were surprised the following morning when they discovered their sons had not come back.

Alarmed, the parents first went to Kianjokoma market where they were told some people had been arrested the previous night for breaking the Covid-19 curfew regulations.

The search began at Manyatta Police Station but their sons were not there. Their next stop was Runyenjes Police Station, and again the search yielded nothing.

They then went to Embu Police Station, Etabwa Police Station and made several other calls to all police stations around the county but still there was no trace of the two boys.

On the third day after the boys could not be traced, the parents filed a missing persons report at Runyenjes Police Station only to be met with the sad news of an incident of two people who had allegedly jumped out of a moving police vehicle.

They were shown photos of the two which they confirmed were their sons and told to go to Embu Level Five hospital to identify the bodies.

“When I saw Benson, I could not believe it! He seemed to have suffered a lot. The entire head was deformed while the bones in his legs were protruding out. Emmanuel’s head was also deformed and the brain had spilled out from the skull.” 

Wawira testified that she talked to her sons throughout the day until they closed the shop and told her they were on their way home.

The parents were testifying against six police officers Benson Mputhia, Consolata Njeri, Martin Wanyama, Nicholas Sang, Lillian Cherono and James Mwaniki who are charged with killing the two brothers on August 1 2021. The hearing continues tomorrow.