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Embu couple hacked to death in suspected land dispute

Tuesday October 15 2019

Shocked residents of Kithimu village in Embu

Shocked residents of Kithimu village in Embu County at the scene where a couple was found murdered in cold blood on October 15, 2019. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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A couple was hacked to death in Kithimu village, Embu County in a suspected land dispute.

The victims, Joseph Gitonga, 37, and his wife Caroline Kaari, 30, were brutally murdered on Monday night as their two children aged ten and seven years watched.

The attackers struck at around 11pm, police said Tuesday.

A sombre mood engulfed the remote village Tuesday morning as police moved the body of one of the victims to Embu Referral Hospital mortuary.

GRUESOME MURDERS

Villages said Kaari was in the house when the attackers stormed in and held her hostage and warned the children, both girls, of dire consequences should they raise an alarm.

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Moments later, they dragged Kaari into the bedroom and struck her on the head with an axe, killing her on the spot.

Her husband, who was away, arrived shortly and was hit on the head as he was entering the house and fell unconscious on the door step.

The attackers escaped after committing the crime.

When the assailants left, the shocked children dashed out and reported the attacks to their grandmother who in turn reported the matter to police.

The officers responded quickly and took Mr Gitonga to the hospital but he died as doctors attended to him.

DISPUTED LAND

Some residents said the murders appeared well planned and executed and urged the police to get to the bottom of the matter.

"When we heard what had happened we knew very well the gangsters had planned for it," one of the residents Ms Mercy Mwaniki said.

Prior to the gruesome murders the couple had a land case which had dragged on for thirty years.

"The couple bought a disputed piece of land somewhere else and we suspect foul play," another resident said.

Residents described the couple as friendly and hardworking and said they did not deserve to die in such brutality.

Embu police commander Daniel Rukanga told relatives of the victims to be patient as detectives were doing everything possible to expose those involved in the gruesome murders.

"Investigations have commenced with a view of establishing those implicated," added Mr Rukunga.

He asked residents to cooperate and volunteer information which might lead to the arrest of the culprits.

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