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Family suspects foul play after kin's body found in tank

Saturday January 11 2020

Decomposing body 27-year-old man found inside a

Decomposing body 27-year-old man found inside a water tank at a prominent businessman’s home in Makutano area, Meru County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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A family in Mpuri village, Meru County, is seeking answers after the decomposing body of their 27-year old kin was found inside a water tank at a prominent businessman’s home in Makutano area.


The relatives of Stephen Kinyua Mungania, who went missing on December 26 last year, say his body was covered in mud. 

According to Mr Joel Mbaabu, the family spokesman, their search for the truth as to what happened to Mungania was hampered by Khanji Patel’s (the businessman) failure to provide information.

Speaking to the press outside the Meru Level Five Hospital mortuary, Mr Mbaabu said they had been denied a copy of the post-mortem report which would have explained the cause of death.

He wondered why they were being denied a copy of the post mortem report, yet they had been allowed to be present during the autopsy following the intervention of North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood.


“The doctor said the body must have been dumped in the tank after he had died since there was no water in the lungs but we don’t have a copy. The body was covered in mud and he looked like he had gone without food for long and undergone torture. We are going to bury our kin like a dog since we don’t know how he died,” said Mr Mbaabu.


Police said no one had been arrested in connection with the incident.

His brother, Julius Kirinya, said they were to meet on December 27 over a family issue but this was never to be as the deceased failed to show up. 

He claimed that someone involved in the probe had told them that the deceased had committed suicide by drowning himself in the tank.

“A milkman who met him every day said he had not seen him. We went to the home and confirmed that it was his body but no one explained what happened. He has worked for the family for the last three years. We are seeking justice for him,” he said before they took the body for burial.

His sister, Kanario Joel said they were shocked to see the body as it “depicted a picture of a person who underwent a lot of torture”.


Family members who viewed the body before the autopsy said it was covered in mud “as if it was applied to conceal” some injuries.

Another witness who did not wish to be named said the tank in which the body was found could only be accessed from the main house, and wondered how Mr Kinyua ended up there.

“How did they find out so fast that the body was there? The other interesting thing is that it was a small tank and the water in it was knee-deep. The doctor told us that the man had not eaten anything for days and we could see the sunken stomach,” he said.


Mr Edward Kathurima, a former employee of the businessman said he used to meet the deceased while he worked at a construction site and he was a composed, trusted employee.

“He would be left in the house as the family went abroad and would take good care of the homestead,” he told the Saturday Nation.

Mr Kirinya recounted how his brother called him on the night he died at around 9pm seeking contacts of another man.

He said he had tried to reach him since December 22 but his phone was always off.


“It is only on 26th that I got a message from Safaricom that his phone was now on and he called me within two minutes seeking the number. He did not sound distressed or in any danger,” said Mr Kirinya.​