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God told me to die, Mombasa man charged with attempted suicide tells court

By Joackim Bwana | July 13th 2016
Benson Muigai before a Mombasa court where he pleaded guilty to charges of attempted suicide by jumping off a ferry into the Indian Ocean. He claimed God told him to kill himself. [PHOTO: KELVIN KARANI/STANDARD]

A man charged with attempted suicide yesterday shocked a Mombasa court when he said God had ordered him to take his life.

Benson Muigai, 30, told Resident Magistrate Lillian Lewa that God told him to commit suicide by jumping into the Indian Ocean.

“I am a servant of God and I was sent to Mombasa all the way from Kiambu County to take my life at Likoni ferry crossing,” he told court.

The magistrate ordered the accused to undergo a mental examination to determine his mental status.

The suspect was calm throughout the hearing and even pleaded guilty to the charge, insisting he was acting on instructions from God, causing laughter in court.

“God told me to come all the way here and take my life in the ocean. I am new in Mombasa and I only came here for this reason,” said Muigai.

The magistrate repeatedly inquired if Muigai had been sent by God to the ocean and what was he supposed to do.

“Is it true that God sent you here? What did He ask you to do?” posed Lewa.

Psychiatric assessment

“Let the accused be subjected to a mental check-up before we can give a verdict,” said Lewa.

Muigai is charged with attempted suicide after he jumped off MV Nyayo into the Indian Ocean.

He is accused that on May 31 2016 at Ferry area within Likoni, he attempted to kill himself by jumping off the moving ferry.

State prosecutor Rosemary Nandi concurred with the magistrate that Muigai be subjected to a psychiatric assessment to determine his mental status.

Nandi said the accused jumped off the ferry around 8:45am before he was rescued by fishermen.

“The statement of the accused raises concerns over his mental status and he ought to be taken for check-up,” said Nandi yesterday.

She said she requires a month to have Muigai’s mental health examination report ready.

“Normally, the doctors have many of such cases and that is why it may take some time,” Nandi told court.

The accused is expected back in court on August 12 when the judgement will be delivered.

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