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Pregnant woman and daughter killed in Matungu buried

Sunday May 19 2019

Matungu funeral

Mourners view the bodies of Petronila Mung'ayi and her daughter Shaline Okhasia during a funeral service on May 18, 2019. The two were victims of a killer gang that has killed over 10 people in Matungu, Kakamega County. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SHABAN MAKOKHA
By SHABAN MAKOKHA
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A pregnant woman and her three-year-old daughter who were hacked to death by the dreaded Kakamega killer gangs two weeks ago were laid to rest in an emotional funeral at their Sayangwe home, Ejinja Sub-Location in Matungu Constituency.

Petronilla Mung'ayi Rapachi, 28, and her daughter, Shaline Okhasia, were killed by the gang while her husband, Mr Stephen Rapachi, and their eight-year-old daughter sustained serious injuries.

Their second-born child who had slept with her step-mother escaped the attack.

INFORMED OF DEATH

Mr Rapachi and her surviving daughter had been admitted to Kakamega Referral Hospital where their condition stabilized before he was informed of his kin’s death this week, ahead of the burial.

During the funeral, he narrated how the thugs attacked his family while they were asleep.

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In the May 5 night incident, the gang struck at 11pm and pounced on the family.

They hacked the woman who was four months pregnant as her husband watched before turning on the rest of the family.

Mr Rapachi said he does not know the people who attacked his family or the motive behind it.

DEMANDED FOR MONEY

"They forced their way into the house and started attacking us demanding for money. I pleaded with them and explained that I didn't have any money but they beat me and left me for the dead," he told the mourners at Sayangwe Primary School on Saturday.

Mr Rapachi said he learned about the death of his wife and daughter a week later after his condition stabilised.

"Doctors at Kakamega Referral Hospital came and told me "pole". I asked them why and that is when they informed me that my wife and daughter were dead. I lost the little energy l had gained and almost fell down but the doctors held me," said the widower.

Mourners led by Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga, Woman Rep Elsie Muhanda, Butere MP Tindi Mwale and a host of MCAs attended the burial ceremony.

FAIR PROBE

Governor Oparanya said security forces investigating the killings in Matungu should conduct their probe fairly and should not implicate innocent people.

He cautioned that if they will not be careful, police are likely to arrest people who are not connected to the killings.

He spoke as police detained four politicians over the killings.

The four, former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, Matungu MP Justus Murunga and Mayoni MCA Libinus Oduor were arrested between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

The governor said the suspects who have been arrested should be given a fair hearing.

"Let there be thorough investigations on the leaders who were arrested so that we know whether they were involved in the murders or not. We don't want innocent people to stay in custody for mistakes they don't know," said Mr Oparanya.

'WRONG PEOPLE'

Mr Oparanya's sentiments came after the ODM leadership defended Senator Malala, accusing the government of going for the wrong people.

ODM party Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said the party read mischief in the arrest of Mr Malala because he was arrested a day to a youth event he had organised at Masinde Muliro University and which was to be held on Saturday.

Governor Oparanya said he was given five names of key suspects in the Matungu killings.

"Two of them were lynched by members of the public and l am asking the remaining three to surrender to the authorities before we come for them," the governor said.

ILLEGAL BREWS

He blamed the increased importation of second generation brew for the rise in criminal activities in the region.

"People who consume the brew which is full of dry spirits end up losing their senses. They are the ones who are killing others," the governor claimed.

Butere MP Tindi Mwale on the other hand asked the police to conduct thorough investigations to ensure that no one linked to the heinous killings of the innocent villagers is spared.

"We want the government to exhaust its investigations through the use of surveillance helicopters and sniffer dogs to trace the killers. They should face the full force of the law even if they are big names in the community," said Mr Mwale.

COUNSELLING

At the same time, Woman Rep Muhanda asked doctors at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital to offer counselling to the affected families in Matungu.

"The remaining members of the families which lost their loved ones should be counselled because l know majority of them are traumatised," said Ms Muhanda.

"Let no one stand in the way of the security forces because we want to get to the bottom of the matter," Ms Muhanda said.

A contingent of security officers was deployed to provide security during the burial.

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