The family of a 23-year-old man who was shot dead by unknown people at Mwingi Level Four Hospital early Thursday morning last week is demanding an explanation from the police, even as circumstances surrounding the murder of their kin remain a mystery.
Fredrick Ngandi’s family says the police have since remained quiet about the death of their relative who died in a hail of bullets while undergoing treatment for gunshot wounds, in what can be best described as a well-orchestrated murder plot.
Sadness engulfed the deceased man’s home when journalists visited his family at Katheani Village, Kitui West, on Saturday.
Only the victim’s elder brother Nicholas Mukando and their sister were present at the time.
It was not immediately clear why nobody had gone to mourn with the family despite news of their bereavement being widely known.
NEIGHBOURS KEEP AWAY
The two said they were puzzled by the fact that even neighbours had not visited to mourn with them.
During an interview with the Nation, Mr Mukando said the “brutal murder” of their last born brother left them in agony and that they too feared for their lives.
He said his brother was a quiet person who always minded his own business.
“He held no grudge against anyone. It beats me why somebody would want to see him dead. My brother was not involved in criminal dealings and always stayed away from trouble,” he said in tears.
According to Mr Mukando, their sister was at Ngandi’s side when a gunman invaded the ward as his accomplices stood guard at the entrance. She watched in horror as the assailant shot her brother “countless” times at point-blank range, killing him on the spot.
He said Ngandi, before he was killed, shouted to his sister saying: “These are the men who shot me. They have come to finish me.”
VICTIM NARRATED EARLIER ATTEMPT
The murder victim had narrated to his sister the earlier attempt on his life when she travelled from Nairobi on the fateful night to visit him at the Mwingi hospital, his brother narrated.
However, Ngandi’s sister declined to speak to journalists saying she feared for her life since she witnessed first-hand the murder of her younger brother.
She remained indoors during the entire interview and refused to have her name published or broadcast.
Mukando claimed the deceased could speak while in the hospital bed though he was in great pain especially due to a bullet that was lodged in his head.
“He told my sister that he was kidnapped by plain-clothed men who claimed to be police officers. He said they broke into his house after he refused to let them in demanding to first see their IDs or badges,” he went on.
He said he could not fathom how the assailants learned about his brother’s survival following the first attempt to kill him, besides knowing the exact ward he was in and his bed.
“There is no way those people could have known that my brother had been admitted to the hospital unless they had an informer at the hospital or among police officers privy to the earlier shooting” he said.
Mr Mukando, 39, further wondered why police officers who took his brother to the hospital left him unguarded when he was nursing gunshot injuries as well as being the subject of a serious crime.
“They should have guarded him throughout his time in the hospital because they knew he was the target in an attempted murder. The whole thing was a conspiracy,” he noted.
FAMILY DEMANDS JUSTICE
The family is now demanding justice for their murdered kin and has urged the government to move with speed to ensure the culprits are tracked down and brought to book.
They have also pleaded for financial assistance from well-wishers to cater for the mortuary bill as well as organising a proper send-off for their dead sibling, citing their poor background.
Efforts by journalists to get comments from security agents within Kitui County have borne no fruits.
Police officers have expressed unwillingness to be quoted on the murder saying they do not want any involvement whatsoever in the matter which they term as “hot”.
This has left people to speculate on the reasons why Ngandi, who is said to have been selling second-hand items in Kitui Town, was killed in cold blood.
Sources, who do not want to be identified for security reasons, claim four men armed with pistols abducted the victim early Wednesday night at Majengo in Kitui Town and forced into an unidentified white car.
Mr Ngandi was reportedly blindfolded and driven at high speed towards the Garissa direction along the Thika-Garissa highway.
LEFT IN THICKET
On reaching Sosoma junction, several kilometres from Mwingi Town, the kidnappers are said to have driven off the road, ejected Ngandi from the car, shot him several times and left him for dead in a thicket.
The shooters then took off convinced that their victim was dead, having shot him twice in the head and twice in his upper body, leaving him motionless and covered in blood.
Ngandi later came to, tore his shirt and tied the pieces of cloth around his head to stop the bleeding.
He crawled back to the road where a Good Samaritan noticed him and took him to Ukasi dispensary, where he was given first aid and the police informed.
The sources further indicated that officers from Ukasi police post picked him from the dispensary moments later and passed by the crime scene before rushing him to Mwingi Level Four Hospital.
It was on Thursday morning at about 3am, once the security officers had left, when the assailants stormed the surgical ward, where Mr Ngandi was, walked straight to his bed and sprayed him with bullets before vanishing into the darkness, said eyewitnesses at the hospital.
A team of detectives later recorded statements from eyewitnesses as the victim’s body, covered with a white blood-soaked sheet, was moved to the hospital’s mortuary.
The motive behind the killing is yet to be known.