Police arrest three after burial of suspected teenage gangster

Thursday May 18 2017

By GRACE GITAU
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Police on Thursday arrested three men shortly after they had attended the burial of the suspected teenage gangster Claire Njoki Kiboi.

Detectives raided the 18-year-old girl's home in Murang’a an hour after her tension-filled burial and arrested three men as mourners watched.

The three were identified as Samuel Kiboi, Samuel Maramu and Amos Ngaire from Kayole, who are relatives of Ms Kiboi. One is her in-law and the others her cousins.

According to the wife of one of those arrested, the officers, armed with pistols, asked them to lie down.

“They attacked and harassed us, claiming that they were looking for criminals. We had come to bury our loved one, but they have taken away my husband,” she said.

The handful of mourners in Kambirwa village,

The handful of mourners in Kambirwa village, Murang'a County, during the burial of Claire Njoki Kiboi, a suspected female gangster gunned down by police in Nairobi. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

According to the mourners, the police took away the three in different vehicles without informing family members where they were taking them.

But Murang'a East Director of Criminal Investigations Japhet Maingi said he was not aware of such an operation in the area.

“I was attending a public gathering in Kahuro. I did not know about the burial,” he said.

Ms Kiboi’s funeral was marked with tension as the presence of plain-clothes police officers and youths from Kayole created an environment not normally seen in the quiet Kambirwa village in Kiharu constituency.

LITTLE CONVERSATION

There was little conversation among the mourners and most opted to interact with only those they knew. During the service, only the area assistant chief and her grandmother spoke.

The family did not print funeral programmes and nor did they give tributes.

Local preachers presiding over the funeral did not even introduce Ms Kiboi's mother or her siblings.

Only one tent was pitched in the compound, with less than 50 plastic chairs available.

No one was allowed to take photos using a camera as the family had asked the media to keep off.

Claire Njoki Kobia was gunned down alongside

Claire Njoki Kobia was gunned down alongside her four accomplices in Kayole, Nairobi, on May 11, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY

“Most of her friends were scared that they would be arrested if they showed up for the burial. They only visited the city mortuary in the morning,” said a friend.

Ms Kiboi quit school in 2013, months after joining Form One at Gikindu Secondary School in Murang'a.

According to a former classmate of hers, the teenager dropped out of school after her principal punished her for something she had done.

She then moved to Kayole, Nairobi, to live with her mother.

At the time of her death, the teenager had moved out of her mother’s house and was living with her boyfriend, suspected to be a notorious gangster.

Neighbours of her family in Kambirwa who spoke to the Nation said the young woman often visited her grandmother in the village.

Police officers were trailing a gang of four, all male except for her, when they shot her and a colleague.