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Quarryman stabs wife and children then torches house

George Mutua Karuiru examines his brother,Patrick Nderitu's house in Maraba village Juja, Kimabu on 16th January, 2018. Patrick killed his wife and 3 children before setting himself ablaze in a family house. [PHOTO/ JOHN MUCHUCHA]

 

Monday began normally for Patrick Nderitu's family as his wife prepared their three children for school.

She then escorted seven-year-old Joe Muraya to Varsity Aim Academy, about two kilometres away, and her twins – Jeff Mutua and Joy Wangui, aged three years – to By Grace Academy, a stone's throw from their home.

Rosemary Kanini, 31, then joined her 45-year-old husband in their three-bedroom house, built in 2015, located in Maraba village in Juja, Kiambu County, and went about her chores as usual.

Her husband, a supervisor at Hilani Quarry in Juja, excused himself to run some errands and promised he would be back before dusk.

At about 4pm, she received her children and served them tea and cake. After the snack, the children took their bicycles and rode them within their well-secured compound as they waited for their mother to cook supper.

At 8pm, mother and children enjoyed a meal of rice, meat and cabbage before they retired to bed, looking forward to another day in school.

Visited briefly

According to Mirriam Wangui, a neighbour who briefly visited the family in the evening, Ms Kanini was alone as the children had left their mother in the spacious sitting room watching television and waiting for her husband of eight years to return so she could serve him supper before they retired to bed.

Mr Nderitu, who originally came from Kiamabara village in Karatina, Nyeri County, returned an hour later and ate supper. The couple is then said to have retired to their bedroom.

But the family's peace was rudely disrupted at around 1am yesterday, with screams from the wife and children as they pleaded with the patriarch to spare their lives.

Neighbours who responded to the distress calls found it hard to access the home as the metal gate was locked from the inside.

So they used a crowbar and mattock to break though the gate and finally entered the compound.

Yesterday, the neighbours recounted how they encountered a second hurdle - the main door to the house was also locked from the inside.

By this time, the screams had subsided and fire had engulfed part of the house, including the sitting room, the kitchen and the children's bedroom.

Same tools

“Using the same tools, we broke the door and entered the house. We found Nderitu, who was on fire, screaming in pain in the sitting room,” said John Kamau, one of the neighbours.

“We pulled him out to the verandah, where there was no fire, and poured cold water on him to put out the fire,” added Mr Kamau.

The neighbours then went to the master bedroom to check on Kanini but were shocked find the lifeless bodies of mother and children.

“Kanini was lying on her back on the bed. On closer scrutiny, we saw deep cuts and stab wounds on the head, chest and neck," said Jackson Thuku, another neighbour.

"Close to her chest was a knife with fresh blood. The bodies of the three children, which also bore deep wounds, were on the floor near the bed.”

According to the witnesses, all the bodies had multiple cuts on the head, chest and neck. They were all in the master bedroom and the children were sprawled on the floor.

Nderitu's charred body was on the verandah. He did not appear to have any cuts.

The remnants of the last supper were on some plates and in sufurias in the kitchen, where there were other unwashed dishes.

Juja OCPD Patricia Nasio said they were called by neighbours at 1.30am and informed that there was a house on fire in the area.

“We rushed there and found the mother and her three children had been strangled and cut using a sharp object. All of them were dead, including the man, who had been burned,” said Ms Nasio.

She added that the police were investigating the cause of the five deaths.

“We didn’t find any suicide note as claimed by the neighbours, or any phones of the deceased,” she said.

The bodies were taken the City Mortuary in Nairobi.

Man stressed after losing money in fake tender deal 

For two weeks, Patrick Nderitu was depressed and troubled, relatives said yesterday.

Two of his sisters-in-law said Nderitu refused to resume work at a quarry in Juja, Kiambu County, where he was a supervisor, and spent most of his time in the house.

The three-bedroom house sits on a plot in Maraba village.

“He has for the past two weeks appeared to be in deep thought and preferred spending time alone,” said Lydiah Mueke, 40, a sister of Nderitu’s wife, Rosemary Kanini.

Mueke, who stays at Kenyatta Road in Juja, said based on information she received from her sister, Nderitu was conned of money in a deal gone sour.

“Some people he described to his wife as former high school classmates promised to assist him get a tender to supply building stones to a military barracks in Nairobi,” Mueke said.

The former classmates had allegedly convinced Nderitu that they had connections in the military and information about the tenders. They reportedly told Nderitu that he needed Sh1.5 million in his bank account to secure the lucrative deal.

“He told the classmates that he couldn’t raise the money but they offered to help him raise Sh500,000 as he got the balance,” Mueke said.

Refund the money

To raise the Sh1 million, Nderitu borrowed from friends, relatives, and wellwishers, according to his sister-in-law. He promised to refund the money on January 12.

“He told those he borrowed money from not to worry because by 12th of this month, he would have refunded their money after supplying the stones, for which he would be paid millions of shillings,” she said.

To convince him that the deal was genuine, Nderitu’s former classmates were said to have deposited Sh500,000 in his bank account, but asked him to deliver the Sh1 million to them in cash. They said they would take the money to their military contact, who was to approve the deal.

Nderitu got suspicious the following day when he tried to call his former classmates but could not go through because their phones were switched off.

“He had been promised that the deal would go through in two days, but when he called them, their phones were off, yet those he had borrowed money from were putting him under pressure,” said Monicah Nduku, another of Nderitu’s sisters-in-law.

She added: “I think the pain of losing the money triggered something in him that made him kill himself and his family. He could not take it.

“It is so cruel. I just saw the body of my sister and the older boy who had cuts on his head. I do not think I can fathom the death of the children,” Ms Nduku said at the City Mortuary. [Nasibo Kabale, Protus Onyango and Kamau Maichuhie]

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