Man in Meru takes chopped hand to police, wants it stored as exhibit

Sunday July 26 2020

Mr Samuel Ndutu, whose hand was allegedly chopped off by his brother in Leeta village, Meru County in dispute over land. He took the severed hand to police seeking to have it stored as an exhibit in the assault case. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Officers at Kabachi Police Post in Meru County were last week shocked after a man whose hand was chopped off turned up with the severed organ and asked them to store it as an exhibit.

Mr Samuel Ndutu, 40, told police that he had been attacked by his elder brother, Joseph Ng’olua, Tuesday mid-morning over a land dispute and wanted the hand kept as an exhibit.

He had wrapped it in a piece of cloth and put it in his jacket pocket.

Mr Ndutu said that he was attacked with a machete as he went to inspect his miraa farm in Leeta village, Igembe North.

Despite bleeding heavily, the man was calm as he narrated the incident to the officers who were manning the occurrence book. He dipped his right hand in his pocket and produced the severed hand.



The mid-morning drama attracted a large number of officers who were attending other duties before Igembe North DCI boss Benson Omondi ordered that Mr Ndutu be rushed to hospital.

Narrating the incident at Mutuati Sub-County Hospital where he had gone to have his P3 form filled, Mr Ndutu recounted how his brother confronted him and started quarrelling him over land, out of the blues.

His brother then chased him around the farm and when he caught up with him, he slashed his hand slightly above the wrist.

Mr Ndutu appealed to the police to quickly arrest his brother who went into hiding after committing the offence.

He claimed that the assailant had threatened to cut off the other hand if he pursues the case.


Mr Richard Mwirigi, 23, a younger brother, claimed that Mr Ng’olua had been threatening and harassing people at home.

“He has been accusing Ndutu of taking his parcel of land, which is not true. We have complained about him several five times but he doesn’t stop. All we demand is justice,” Mr Mwirigi said.

The two brothers claimed that their father had allocated Mr Ng’olua a larger portion of land, yet he wanted another share and they have none.

They were jolted when they learnt that their parents now support the suspect and wanted the assault case terminated and, instead, Mr Ndutu charged with unspecified offence.


Cases of people having their hands chopped off are common in Igembe region where residents mete what is commonly referred to as “the panga justice”, especially on people found stealing miraa.

The culprit is either ambushed and slashed before he can defend himself or given the option having his arm severed just above the wrist or above the elbow.

One can lose both hands depending on the person administering the “justice” and it is common to meet people with severed arms.