Teacher accused of beating 10 year old pupil to death detained

Deputy head teacher Njuguna Maina in court yesterday. [Photo: Kibata Kihu/Standard]

A primary school teacher accused of beating a pupil to death in Laikipia County has been detained for 14 days.
Mr Venezio Njuguna Maina is said to have severely beaten 10-year-old Joy Wagithi, who succumbed to injuries three days later.

Nanyuki Senior Resident Magistrate Evans Ngige allowed the police to hold the suspect after the prosecution sought more time to, among other things, carry out a postmortem on the girl’s body.

Prosecutor Cecilia Kinyanjui told court the suspect is the deputy head teacher of Mukandamia Primary School in Solio Village Six and was being held for the murder of the the Standard Three pupil.

“The accused is alleged to have administered punishment on the subject who succumbed three days later,” Ms Kinyanjui said in an affidavit sworn by the investigating officer, Chief Inspector Joseph Indeke.

“On January 26 this year, at Mukandamia Primary School, the suspect administered a mode of punishment on the subject which led her to sustain injuries,” said the lawyer.

“The girl was taken to Naru Moru Sub-County Hospital, then to Mary Immaculate Hospital in Mweiga where she succumbed to injuries.”


The prosecutor said the Directorate of Criminal Investigations needed more time for a postmortem to be conducted on the body as well as record statements from witnesses.

“We are also requesting that the suspect be taken to Nanyuki Teaching and Referral Hospital for a psychiatric test,” Kinyanjui told the court.

The suspect, who was unrepresented on his first appearance, did not object to the application.

However, as soon as Njuguna had been locked up in the court cells, lawyer Amos Janai Chweya emerged and protested against the magistrate’s decision to have him arraigned in the absence of a lawyer.

However, the magistrate, who had already left the courtroom, was recalled and the matter revisited.

Mr Chweya, who was holding brief for Grace Mwai, said the suspect’s rights had been violated by arraigning him in the absence of an attorney.

“I am aware the court granted the prosecution 14 days to complete investigations. I’m however applying that the suspect be represented by a doctor of his choice during the postmortem or the one his family will choose,” Chweya said.

Ngige allowed the application and instructed the suspect to liaise with the investigating officer and make arrangements on his representation.

The case will be mentioned on February 15.