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Call for justice as murdered family of 4 buried in Vihiga

Saturday March 07 2020
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Residents view the bodies of businessman Kennedy Ambani, his wife and two children, who were murdered by a gang in a home attack, during their funeral on March 7, 2020. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DERICK LUVEGA

A man, his wife and their children, who were brutally murdered by a gang at the home in Vihiga County, were buried on Saturday amid calls for a speedy probe by a relative linked to the crime.

Kennedy Ambani (40), his wife Elizabeth Achieng' (35), son Gifton Ambani (10) and daughter Ann Ambani (8) were attacked by about seven people on the night of February 21.

The incident added to a growing list of gruesome crimes in the area, with residents asking police to heighten security.

The businessman's brother Michael Kedeng'e, who was arrested in connection to the killings, said he was wrongly accused and asked police to expedite the probe.

BROTHER'S STORY

Mr Kedeng'e said it was inhumane for police to lock him up at Mbale Police Station for six days as he mourned the deaths of four family members.

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He said that being locked up with his brother's killers was against the traditions of the Maragoli that do not allow people to dine with suspected murderers.

Mr Kadeng'e shocked mourners when he narrated how officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) picked him up at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital.

He said he had been attending to one of the victims of the attack - the girl - who later died in the Intensive Care Unit due to deep cuts in the head.

"It is unfortunate that I was arrested in connection with the killing of my brother. The officers manhandled me and bungled me into a police vehicle that had been parked outside the hospital," he told mourners during a service at

Ingidi Primary School.

"I was treated like a criminal. I recorded a statement and thereafter was thrown into the cells, first in Kakamega and later Mbale."

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Michael Kedeng'e, brother of Vihiga County businessman Kennedy Ambani, who was killed alongside his wife and their two children, during their funeral on March 7, 2020. PHOTO | DERICK LUVEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

OTHER SUSPECTS

On Thursday, County Commander Ochillo Oyugi said 14 people were arrested and six detained after questioning.

He said some of the eight who were released will be state witnesses.

The six suspects, aged between 22 and 43, will be charged with robbery on Monday.

Mr Kedeng'e said, "Several other suspects were arrested and thrown into the same cell. I shared the same cell and food with my brother's killers. This is against our traditions," he said, terming the treatment dehumanising.

He noted that he loved his brother, whom he described as humble.

MOTHER'S CRY

Mr Ambani’s mother Miriam Mbone said the killings significantly dented the family as he was its backbone.

Ms Mbone said she was hopeful that justice would be served.

"How does someone use crude weapons on defenceless people? Why couldn't they take away chicken and any other property?"

JUSTICE

Political leaders present called for justice for the family.

Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi, Lugaga/Wamuluma Ward Representative Victor Ijaika and politician Abdalla Chogo said Mr Kadeng'e arrest was a demonstration of lack of intelligence by police.

"That the brother to the victim was arrested and locked up ... where is the intelligence? Police should have asked more about him before arresting someone who was mourning," said Mr Chogo.

Mr Agoi said political leaders would push for security to be beefed up across the county.

"Police are sleeping on the job. Happenings over the last six to eight months prove this. We are disturbed about the handling of security matters in this county," he said.

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