Investigations on the gruesome murder of a youth leader in Kitui have taken a new twist after it emerged that Benjamin Muema Kinyali’s wife may have been economical with the truth on what she knew about the death of her husband.
This is after mobile phone analysis showed that she communicated with the key suspect in the murder a day after her husband went missing.
Mr Kinyali’s partly burnt body was found in thicket near Tiva River in Kwa Vonza, 25 kilometres from Kitui town on April 18.
Initial investigations showed his death was as a result of a love quadrangle.
It is said that the National Youth Council member had suspected his wife Salome Kathini was having an affair with Joshua Mutunga, the key suspect of the murder and decided to revenge by starting a relationship with the man’s wife.
Mr Mutunga who is a nurse at Kitui Referral Hospital is expected to undergo a mental assessment at Mathari Hospital together with three other suspects in the case ahead of taking a plea on Thursday next week.
The other three are Kitumbi Munyoki, Mutua Muasya and Koki Kimanzi who detectives believe took part in the murder. Mr Kinyali’s wife Salome Kathini was released on the orders of the court in Kitui courtesy of a Sh500,000 bond and surety of the same amount after being initially arrested.
Kitui County CID boss Paul Wachira told the Nation that they did their best in the investigations into the murder of the former National Youth Council official for Kitui rural constituency and that no stone was left unturned.
“After the investigations the file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine who to charge with what offence. It is the DPP who will prosecute based on the evidence we gathered,” he said.
The County CID officer further assured that no stone will be left unturned while asking for anyone with information regarding the murder to volunteer it to them.
“Whoever has any information or evidence that will enhance our investigations should be free to share with us instead of hiding behind the anonymity to besmirch people” he told the Nation on telephone.
New information shows that on the day he was murdered, Mr Kinyali is said to have been intercepted as he waited for his gate to be opened shortly after arriving at his residence at 11pm while drunk.
His friends whom he was having drinks with at Vanilla’s bar in Kitui town are the one who dropped him. As he waited for his gate to be opened, he was attacked and bundled into a grey Toyota Fielder.
This took place just a week after Mr Kinyali, Mrs Kathini, Mr Mutunga and his wife were supposed at Mulutu market on the outskirts of Kitui town, in a last ditch effort to save their marriages after months of wife sharing.
Mr Kinyali’s wife was alleged to be having an affair with Mr Mutunga while on the hand her husband was in a relationship with Mr Mutunga’s wife.
It is still not known what was discussed in the meeting which Mr Kinyali snubbed but the other couple and his wife attended. Police however now suspect that Ms Kathini may not have told them the truth on what she knew about her husband’s murder.
Ms Kathini who works at the South Eastern Kenya University told the police that she was in her house waiting for her husband to arrive home when he was abducted. This information according to officers following the case was collaborated by the couple’s house help.
It is however emerging that Ms Kathini did communicate with the key suspect of the murder the next day through her phone. The context of their communication is still unknown just as what was discussed in the meeting that Mr Kinyali missed a week to his murder.
The communication between the two is part of information retrieved from phones belonging to the suspects are being analysed by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters which is assisting in the investigations.
The analysis further shows that mobile phones belonging to the four main suspects Kitumbi Munyoki, Mutua Muasya, Koki Kimanzi and Joshua Mutunga were around the residence of Mr Kanyali on the time he is suspected to have been abducted.
The phones were then traced to have travelled to Mr Mutunga’s home at Itoleka area. It is here that police believe the suspects picked an old tyre which they used in an attempt to burn the body and erase evidence after strangling Mr Kinyali.
One of the suspects was found with bite marks on his hands which detectives believe the deceased bit him as he struggled to set himself free and intend to use this as part of the evidence.
From Kitui town the suspects’ mobile phones have been traced to have travelled together towards Kwa Vonza via Ithookwe road, 25 kilometres away where the youth leader’s body was found.
The phones were however switched off simultaneously at the scene where the body was recovered around midnight. Mr Mutunga then sent money via Mpesa to Mr Munyoki, Mr Muasya and Mr Kimanzi early morning the next day after their mission was allegedly accomplished.
An analysis on the grey Toyota Fielder which is currently under the custody of the DCIO Kitui has also shown evidence of fuel siphoning which the suspects are said to have used in an effort to burn the body.