Forensic probe for body in Tharaka-Nithi chief, OCS killings inquest

Wednesday March 18 2020

Tharaka-Nithi County Commissioner Ms Beverly Opwora has directed that the body found in River Thuci in Kamaindi be exhumed for forensic investigation.

The body is believed to be that of Mr Gitonga Kibuibe, whose discovery sparked public uproar that led to the murder of Kamaindi chief Mr Japhet Mayau Mukengu and Chuka OCS Joseph Kinyua.

Ms Opwora on Monday said a DNA test will be conducted to confirm if the remains are those of the late Kibuibe before further investigations on what caused the death.

“We have directed that the remains be exhumed for investigations,” said Ms Opwora.

Mr Kibuibe left home to bathe in River Thuci on December 12, 2018 but never returned. His family and neighbours searched for him in the river but did not find him.


A skeleton believed to be that of Kibuibe was later found between two rocks in the river on April 4, 2019.

The locals accused the family of the late chief and his brother Gikware Mukengu of being behind the death.

They argued that on the same day that Kibuibe went missing, the chief's relatives fenced off the section of the river where the remains were found, barring anyone from access including fetching water or watering their animals.

On April 25, 2019, the villagers held demonstrations demanding justice for Mr Kibuibe’s family but no single administrator or a security officer turned up to listen to their grievances.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2019, the chief was reportedly attacked by villagers, cut into pieces and his body burnt as he was solving a dispute between his brother Gikware and a villager over goats that had encroached into the former’s land.


The next day, May 1, Chuka OCS was hacked to death with an axe when he had gone to arrest Mr David Ikaba, a suspect in the chief’s murder in Ugweri market in the neighbouring Embu County where he operated butchery.

Mr Ikaba was shot and killed by a police officer.

A police informer was also attacked by mob during the Ugweri incidence and is receiving treatment at Tenri Hospital in Embu County in critical condition.

So far five people have been arrested and arraigned in an Embu court in connection to the murder of the OCS and six charged in Chuka court in connection to killing of the chief.

On Saturday, the county security team led by Ms Opwora held a meeting with Kamaindi leaders to hear their side of the story concerning the whole matter.

Ms Opwora, on Monday, told the media that police are still hunting for more suspects in connection to the two murders.