More than two years after the deadly raid masterminded by one of their own, residents of Nyanyaa village in Kitui County still cringe in fear at the mere thought of that night.
Even with the arrest of the Kenya’s most wanted fugitive John Kilonzo Musyoka alias Karunyu who has been on the run since July 4, 2013 when he allegedly led a six-man gang in a killing spree that left 12 people dead in the remote villages of Nyanyaa and Ndithi in Waita Division of Mwingi Central district, surviving victims of the dreaded massacre have never been at peace.
Karunnyu, who police had declared a dangerous criminal, was in early January arrested in Emali town, Makueni County after he allegedly engaged in robbery with violence. However, the murder suspect identified himself to the police as Jackson Mutua Kimanthi since he didn’t have any identification document.
But in what turned to be the end of the most persistent manhunt of the killings’ mastermind, the area detectives were last week informed of the whereabouts of the “most wanted criminal on January 8, according to Mwingi Central police boss Mr Gerald Barasa.
Mr Barasa said some elders from the village where the serial killer hails from were on Monday ferried to Machakos to help security agencies identify him.
However, in Nyanyaa village, Mr Paul Masya Nzomo, 19, who narrowly escaped death after the gang descended on their village at midnight, narrated to the Nation the agony and trauma that he has gone through following the ordeal which left 12 people from three families lifeless.
His father Joseph Nzomo and mother Elizabeth Mutei were killed by the assailants who found them asleep in their home.
“We were all asleep at night when the attackers raided our home at midnight. I woke up after I heard dogs barking only to see some people in our compound. A short while later, there was commotion in my parents house,” said Mr Nzomo who survived the deadly gang together with his young brother by sneaking out through the window.
His two sisters and their aged grandmother who slept in a room next to his had no other option but to follow suit.
Life changed dramatically in the entire village as the locals tried to come to terms with what transpired that night.
After his parents were buried after a requiem mass attended by top leaders in the county at Nyanyaa market, little did Mr Nzomo, a first born in his family, know that he was going to be the bread winner for his three siblings.
He dropped out of school last year while in Form Two at Yumbye Secondary School since he was unable to raise school fees
“Life has been very tough here. As the first born I am struggling a lot to put food on the table as well as to address the needs of my siblings who are in school,” he explained. His small business as a boda boda operator can hardly raise enough income to take care of his newly wedded wife Ms Jane Masya and the siblings.
Their grandmother who was living with them died in August last year, having never recovered from the shock and agony of witnessing her son’s killing.
He said though an Administration Police post was erected at Nyanyaa market after the dreaded night raid, tension and anxiety has remained.
His sentiments are shared by Ms Lena Mwendwa 33, a wife to Mr Mwendwa Musyoka, the elder brother to Karunyu.
“We don’t sleep at night especially between 11pm and 2am for fear that there could be a repetition of what happened in 2013,” she said.