Court clerk burned to death in dispute over his son's burial

Saturday April 20 2019

Murang'a court clerk murder scene

Residents of Gitumbi village in Kirinyaga County at the place where Murang'a court clerk Stanley Mureithi Muriuki was killed by a mob on the night of April 19, 2019. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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A court clerk accused of refusing to bury his son on family land at Gitumbi village in Kirinyaga County was burned to death by a mob on Friday night.

Stanley Mureithi Muriuki, 45, was based in Murang'a County.

His son, identified only as 18-year-old Kelly, is said to have died by suicide for reasons yet to be established.

DISAGREEMENT

Trouble started when Mr Muriuki returned home after celebrating Good Friday at a nearby market.

He found residents making arrangements for his son's burial and told them that it would not be on his piece of land.

The residents insisted on their plan so a quarrel broke out, with Mr Muriuki saying the body would be exhumed if buried on his land.

It was then that he was attacked and set on fire, and his house torched.

'GONE BERSERK'

The residents accused the clerk of abandoning and leaving his son with his grandmother after chasing away his wife.

"Mr Muriuki hated his son and never provided for him. When his son killed himself, he openly vowed to block residents and relatives from burying him on family land. This angered the people," one said.

A relative, Ms Jenifer Njoki, said she was among those had been making the funeral arrangements when Mr Muriuki was attacked.

"The child who [killed] himself was the first wife's. Residents knew he hated his son so when he told them he would not permit his burial on the land, they went berserk," she said.

TOO LATE

County employee John Kiama said the clerk had died by the time he arrived with a rescue team.

"The house had also been razed to the ground. There was nothing we could do," he said.

Police arrived shortly after and took Mr Muriuki's remains to Kerugoya Level Five Hospital mortuary.

One who did not want to be named said investigations were launched.