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LSK ‘worried’ by increased cases of murder, disappearances

By Patrick Vidija | April 10th 2021

Betty Barasa, who was killed on April 7, 2021, worked as a video editor at KBC. [Courtesy]

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has urged the Government to put in place measures that would protect Kenyans against being victims of kidnappings and murder.

The LSK said in a statement on Saturday, April 10 that the recent spike in cases of murder and mysterious disappearances is worrying, and the State should move fast to address the situation.

The lobby group’s remarks come on the back of the murder of KBC senior video editor, Betty Barasa, who was shot dead by suspected robbers on Wednesday, April 7 at her home in Ngong.

The LSK suggested, in their statement, that financial distress among Kenyans due to the Covid-19 crisis could be contributing to frustrations, mental breakdown and sullen anger, which is channeled to other citizens.

“It is imperative that the Government puts in place a raft of measures, including a fiscal plan to address the financial challenges facing Kenyans. We urge the Government to return the tax reliefs put in place in the year 2020 to cushion citizens, businesses and investments from the effects of the ongoing lockdown as a result of Covid-19 pandemic,” said CEO of the LSK, Mercy Wambua.

In the last one month, at least four women have been killed in unclear circumstances.

Nairobi businesswoman Caroline Maina, who had been declared missing on February 12, 2021 was on February 19 found murdered and her body dumped in Kajiado. Five people were arrested in connection with her death. Autopsy indicated she had been hit in the head with a blunt object. Investigations suggested Maina, 38, was killed over a business deal gone sour.

On March 12, 2021 the National Lands Commission (NLC) Communications Deputy Director Jennifer Wambua went missing shortly after arriving at her Ardhi House workplace. Three days later – on March 15 – she was found murdered and her body dumped in Ngong Forest. Two suspects were arrested in connection with her killing, with police yet to establish the possible reason behind her murder. Wambua was scheduled to testify in a corruption suit involving a Kenyan MP.

On March 21, a 26-year-old woman and a mother-of-two, Celestine Nduku, was stabbed to death in her house in Isiolo in unclear circumstances. Police suspect her estranged husband, Eric Mutwiri Mwenda, whom Nduku had reportedly separated from, was behind her death. Mwenda is in police custody.

On April 7, KBC staffer Betty Barasa was shot dead shortly after arriving at her Oloolua home in Ngong, Kajiado County from work.

Barasa was frog-marched to her bedroom by three armed men as her husband and children watched helplessly. One of the suspected thugs fired a bullet into Barasa’s head, killing her on the spot.

The suspected criminals did not steal any money, but made away with Barasa’s phones and a laptop. Police are investigating the motive behind the 41-year-old woman’s killing.

The LSK said, in their statement, that one of its members, Benson Njau Kayai, who is an Advocate of the High Court, was abducted in South C, Nairobi on February 7, 2021. To date, his whereabouts remain unknown.

“This is just one of the many heinous acts committed by gangs of criminals, leading to loss of lives of innocent Kenyans and puts to question the efficiency of the security measures put in place by the Government,” said the Society’s CEO Mercy Wambua.

“In light of the above, the LSK demands that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) expedite the investigations into the cases mentioned and indeed all other similar cases and identify the evil perpetrators who must then be apprehended, arraigned and prosecuted accordingly,” she added in her statement.

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