Family seeks justice for security official's death

Richard Sandagi.He was killed in an alleged revenge attack. [Courtesy]

The family of a 44-year-old man who was killed at Kisatiru village in Vihiga County about two months ago is demanding justice.

Richard Sandagi, a member of the community policing committee (Nyumba Kumi), was killed in an alleged revenge attack after he confronted a suspect.

The security official is said to have warned the suspect over his criminal ways, and urged him to reform. Sandagi met his death while discharging his duties on August 24 after he met the suspect at a funeral vigil.

Tension has been building in the area between two sub-clans following Sandagi’s murder which remains unresolved.

His family has been demanding justice for their kin who they claim was murdered by a known person from the same village.

“My husband was attacked by a known suspect when he went to check up on a bereaved family,” said Charity Sandagi, his wife.

The suspect stabbed Sandagi several times.

Charity said the private clinic where her husband was rushed called to inform her that Sandagi had arrived bleeding profusely.

“We rushed to the hospital and found Sandagi had multiple stab wounds in the stomach and in the hand,” said Charity. 

He succumbed to the injuries a day later while receiving treatment at Vihiga County Referral Hospital. 

The suspect who has a criminal background took off after the incident and he is still at large to date.

Sandagi’s mother, Belha Kanaiza, said he kept on reprimanding the suspect for his criminal activities in the village.

A month before the murder, the suspect had allegedly stolen from Sandagi’s home and he was reprimanded for the action.

The family said the suspect felt embarrassed after the incident and vowed to make Sandagi pay for it.

“He threatened my son and what transpired later was an act of revenge,” said Kanaiza.

The case was reported at Chavakali Police Station and is still under investigation.

The family said they have been living in fear after they received threats from unknown people who warned them against pursuing the matter further.

“We have had to hire a guard as the suspect is capable of attacking us because he is still at large,” said Kanaiza. 

Villagers led by Joseph Idiah fear that the man could be targeting other innocent people who might have spoken out about his criminal activities.

There are fears of revenge attacks from the two clans embroiled in the matter.

“We hope the police will be able to bring the suspect to book to avert bad blood between the clans,” said Idiah.

Kisatiru has in recent days also reported several cases of robbery and insecurity incidents.

Vihiga County Commissioner Felix Watakila has assured the residents that they were doing everything possible to have the suspect arrested.

A week ago the county commissioner led a public meeting in the village to calm down the residents.

“We want to assure the residents that the security team is following up crucial leads. We also urge the locals to volunteer information on the whereabouts of the suspect identified as Elvis Adega,” said Watakila.

Nyumba Kumi is a strategy designed for citizens to know their neighbours. The initiative was introduced to maintain peace and security.