Family and leaders seek justice for killed blogger

Blogger Benard Muthiani whose decomposing body was found in Tharaka on December 6 after he went missing on December 2. [Courtesy]

Popular blogger Benard Muthiani popularly known as ‘Sniper’ went missing on December 2, only for his decomposing body to be found six days later.

The 33-year-old father of two,  a seven-year-old boy and a girl aged one-and-half years, had made a name for his satirical videos posted on social media, in which he focused on governance and politics.

A section of residents claim he was murdered because he was rubbing a section of leaders the wrong way, and have demanded thorough investigations to unearth his killers.

His wife Irene said he left their home at Kabuito in Igembe South, Meru, after he received a phone call from someone known to him.

“We are depressed. The children cannot sleep and are crying all the time. My husband was just a simple farmer,” she said.

When a body was found in a thicket at a riverbank in the neighbouring Thraka Nithi County, the family and friends who were involved in his search feared the worst. Unfortunately, their fears were confirmed when they positively identified the body.

Chief Government Pathologist has said the body had multiple injuries. Dr Johansen Oduor, who spoke at the Marimanti Hospital Mortuary after postmortem, said Muthiani was strangled.

“There were some mark on the neck which was caused by a rope. He had evidence of someone who had lacked air and which led to his death. We also saw some injuries on the chest, and rib fractures on the right side,” he said.

As detectives now work to establish what actually happened, Meru leaders among them Tigania East MP Mpuru Aburi, and National Ordinary People Empowerment Union Chairman Julius Mbijjiwe and Secretary General Frankline Karuti, have called for a speedy investigation to so that family and friends can have a closure.

Aburi said Muthiani will not be buried until the culprits are apprehended and justice rendered.

“He was from Igembe and had married from Tigania, so the people of Nyambene have lost a son. A young woman has been turned into a widow and two little orphans. But it is a loss for the entire Meru community, which has lost someone who was highlighting their issues,” he said.

The MP said his body will be taken round so that Meru residents can mourn an activist who had through his blogging agitated for their rights.

“He will not be buried until the truth is found and his widow and children are served justice. Even if it takes five months, he will not be buried before the truth is revealed, his death should not be in vain,” he said.

Dr Mbijjiwe said there will be a vigil in his honour on Sunday at Maili Tatu in Igembe Central.

“Afterwards we are going to have other prayers at Kinoru Stadium. He was the breadwinner so we are going to raise funds for an education kitty to help his children and support his family,” he said.