Grief engulfs Kisii village after pastor’s body found

Saturday April 14 2018

By RUTH MBULA
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Grief and anger overcame mourners who streamed the home of Pastor Esther Bochaberi Oyugi at Suneka in Bonchari, Kisii County.

A mutilated and decomposing body suspected to be that of the pastor, who disappeared on March 11, 2018, was on Friday evening found in a sugar plantation in Awendo, Migori County.

While the police did not immediately confirm it was her, friends and relatives said the clothes and a blanket found beside the body belonged to the missing pastor.

“We are convinced the body we saw is that of my sister,” said Ms Rose Kemunto, sister to the victim.

Police said that some of the suspects arrested in relation to the abduction led them to the scene where the body was found.

DNA TEST

But the Kisii South police boss, David Mburukua, said they still need to conduct tests to confirm the identity of the mutilated body.

"It is not easy to identify the body as it is now. We will do a postmortem next week and if need be a DNA test," he said.

Pastor Bochaberi was allegedly abducted from her home about a month ago and has been missing since then.

At her homestead on Saturday, emotions ran high with villagers wailing and cursing the perpetrators of the heinous murder.

They streamed in their numbers as word continued to spread about the fate of the woman who had for many years guided them spiritually.

PROBE

Residents torched three houses three weeks ago belonging to her suspected kidnappers.

Bishop Robert Atandi and Pastor Lawrence Nyanuga Omambia said police must bring to justice the culprits responsible for the killing of their colleague.

Last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i said he will form a special unit to investigate the case.

The CS said such levels of insecurity cannot be tolerated in any part of the country.

"I am dismayed by what we are witnessing here. Such nonsense cannot be condoned," he said.

Mr Joseph Oyugi, husband to the missing woman said they had searched for her in vain.

Mr Oyugi who lives with their six children in Nairobi said his 60-year-old wife is a victim of land cartels in Kisii.

Eight suspects, among them a chief who has since been interdicted, were arrested and charged at Kisii law courts in relation to the kidnapping.

Police said the charges levelled against the suspects may be changed to murder.