Murang’a granny dies after rape in suspected land row

Tuesday January 29 2019

Kihumbuini village in Gatanga, Murang’a County

Residents of Kihumbuini village in Gatanga, Murang’a County on January 28, 2019 gather at the scene where 80-year-old Lydia Wanjiku Chege was found after being raped and doused in acid. She later died in hospital. Locals blamed a land feud for the attack on the granny. PHOTO | NDUNG'U GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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An 81-year-old granny from Kihumbuini village of Gatanga Sub-county in Murang’a County has died after being raped and doused in acid in what locals say is as a result of a land dispute.

Lydia Wanjiku Chege was found naked in a coffee farm 500 meters away from her home on Monday morning with acid poured on her chest and bleeding profusely from her private parts where a stick had been inserted after apparently being raped.

When locals found the woman, they dressed her up before calling the police, thinking that she was dead.

But upon realising that she was breathing, they informed the police who took her to Thika Level Five Hospital.


Stephen Ng’ang’a, an elder, said the woman narrated how her attackers raped her and left her for the dead.

According to Mr Ng’ang’a, the woman said she had forgiven her assailants.

“She was in deep pain but she forced herself to speak where she said she had forgiven her attackers and that she did not want to carry the grudge to heaven. We told her that she would recover but on Tuesday morning we received reports that she had died,” Mr Ng’ang’a said.

Another resident, Rahab Wariara, described the woman as one who was peaceful and a staunch follower of the AIPCA church.

She called on government agencies to hasten investigations and arrest the culprits.


“She was very peaceful but had a long standing feud over land with her co-wife and part of her land had been grabbed. We believe there is a connection between her death and the land wrangles,” she said.

Local said dead woman’s son died in similar circumstances and urged the investigative agencies to move with speed and contain the situation to prevent more deaths in the troubled family.

On learning about the woman’s death on Tuesday morning, angry villagers burnt down the house belonging to her co-wife.

Gatanga OCPD Beatrice Kiraguri said they had launched investigations and urged locals not to take the law into their hands.

“We had taken the statements from the deceased who had described how the man who raped her looked like and we have started investigations. I appeal to locals to maintain calm and not to take the law into their own hands,” Ms Kiraguri said.

The police boss said they had not made any arrests by Tuesday.