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Samuel Mungai was convicted of the 2017 murder of Zachaeus Sereya after a court rejected his plea that he thought the victim was a thief. [Courtesy]
A man has been jailed for 30 years for killing another man following events triggered by a fight over a woman.

Samuel Mungai was convicted of the 2017 murder of Zachaeus Sereya after a court rejected his plea that he thought the victim was a thief.

Kajiado High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi, on August 16, ruled that there was no evidence that Sereya had stolen from the accused.

Justice Nyakundi also noted that the man was not armed hence there was no reasonable cause for Mungai to use lethal force.

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“Murder is a very serious offence, which involves loss of life. Life cannot be compensated. I hereby sentence the convict to 30 years imprisonment commencing from the date of arrest,” ruled Justice Nyakundi.

Mungai, who lived in Kibogeni area in Ilbissil township, Kajiado County, had testified that at about 7pm on January 10, he had separated two men who were fighting over a woman before going to Kachichini Bar to have a drink.

He claimed to have seen two suspicious men hovering around the bar but he was not bothered until stones were thrown at his house. 

The accused said he went to confront the attackers and realised they were people well known to him. 

Mungai said there was a confrontation when the men demanded money. He claimed he duped the men into allowing him to return to his house to get them the cash.

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He told the court he saw the men attacking a neighbour. In the course of the struggle he allegedly saw one of the attackers sustain multiple injuries.

Mungai denied that he participated in inflicting the fatal injuries as claimed by the prosecution.

The State had called six witnesses including one Richard Njenga who the court was told had fought with another man over a woman.

Panga and club

Njenga acknowledged that during the altercation, Mungai, who was well known to him, intervened to separate them. 

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The witness said that Mungai was armed with a panga and club but he did not use the weapons to harm them.

He told the court that he only noticed a man lying on the ground with neck injuries.

Another witness, Elizabeth Baithya, who was Sereya’s friend, testified that two neighbours were fighting.

She told the court that at the same time there were thieves who came to Mungai’s house. Baithya said Mungai, who was armed with a panga, hacked one of the thieves to death.

Richard Njoroge, a forensic pathologist, testified that he performed an autopsy on Sereya’s body and confirmed that the man bled to death after being cut on the neck.

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