4 KWS rangers seized over death of man in Mt Kenya forest

Monday March 18 2019

Residents look on as the body of Mr Willy Nyaga

Residents look on as the body of Mr Willy Nyaga is being retrieved from the Nyamindi River in Kamwana, Kirinyaga County on March 18, 2019. PHOTO | GEORGE MUNENE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE MUNENE
By GEORGE MUNENE
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Four Kenya Wildlife Service rangers were on Monday arrested in connection with the murder of a tea farmer in Kirinyaga County.

They were picked up in the morning two days after Mr Willy Nyaga was found dead in a river.

The four rangers were taken to Kianyaga Police Station for questioning.

Kirinyaga County Police Commander Leah Kithei said the rangers will face murder charges when investigations are completed.

Mr Nyaga was seized with two others by the rangers on March 13, while at Kamwana area in Mt Kenya forest.

The rangers accused the trio of entering the prohibited area without approval and carrying out illegal logging.

They allegedly clobbered them repeatedly, possibly to teach them a lesson, but the father of two is said to have collapsed and left behind while his colleagues were taken to the Kianyaga Police Station.

After handing over the two illegal loggers to the police, the rangers returned to Kamwana to look for Mr Nyaga.

But on Saturday, the body was found floating in Nyamindi River by residents. Police retrieved the body and took it to Kibugi Funeral Home.

Family members claim when the rangers returned to the forest, they found Mr Nyaga dead and threw his body into the river to cover up their crime.

"We learnt of the death of our brother with great shock," said Mr Nyaga’s brother, Prof Silas Mwaniki.

But the rangers insist they arrested only two illegal loggers and have recorded statements.