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Embu man sought by police over illicit brew hangs himself

Thursday August 22 2019

Makengi village in Embu

Residents of Makengi village in Embu County on August 22, 2019 gather near a tree where the body of a man, who had been on the run after police raided his home for illicit brew, was found hanging. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A man from Embu said to be a notorious illicit alcohol brewer who has been on the run for five days after police raided his home has hanged himself.

During the police raid, 200 litres of illicit brew were impounded as the man went into hiding.

But on Thursday, Kithaka Kathuni was found hanging from a tree in Makengi village, dead.

It is suspected that he committed suicide to avoid being arrested for engaging in the illegal business.


On Saturday last week, police stormed Mr Kathuni’s home accusing him of selling an illicit brew locally known as Machore but he managed to escape.


When the officers ransacked his house, they found the brew in plastic containers and carried it to Itabua Police Station and launched as search for Mr Kathuni.

On Thursday morning, residents were shocked when they found the body of Mr Kathuni, a wealthy man from their village, dangling on a rope from a tree.

The panic-stricken residents quickly reported the matter to the police who arrived at the scene and removed the body and took it to Embu Level Five hospital mortuary.


Speaking to the Nation, the residents said it was likely the man took away his life for fear that he would be arrested and prosecuted in connection with the brewing of the illicit alcohol believed to be unfit for human consumption.

"He was the most wanted person by the police and last week he was caught red-handed selling the brew to his customers but, luckily, he escaped arrest," said Mr Fredrick Njiru.

Police confirmed that the man was a well-known brewer who they had been looking for but expressed doubts that he killed himself to avoid arrest and prosecution.

Chief Inspector of Police Kaberia Mbiti said although the brewer was being sought for prosecution, he could have hanged himself due to a family dispute.


"We suspect that the brewer decided to kill himself after he picked a quarrel with some of his family members over unknown reasons," Mr Mbiti explained.

He, however, said investigations had been commenced to establish the actual rea-son why the man killed himself as he did not leave behind a suicide note.

Mr Mbiti told the residents to stop speculations and wait for the police to conclude their investigations.

He said the confiscated brews and the plastic containers which would have been used as exhibits in court will now be destroyed by the police.

"The suspect is already dead and we can't continue keeping the exhibits at the police station," he said.