Matungu killings: Oparanya demands fair investigations

Wednesday March 18 2020

Mourners led by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (centre) at the burial of Petronilla Mung'ayi Rapachi and her daughter Shaline Okhasia on May 18, 2019. The two were killed by a gang in Matungu. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya wants security forces investigating the killings in Matungu to ensure they do not implicate innocent people.

Mr Oparanya, the governor of Kakamega County, on Saturday noted the need for fairness and warned that police will arrest people not connected to the crimes if they are not keen.

He spoke a day after police arrested four politicians over the killings. They are former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, Matungu MP Justus Murunga and Mayoni MCA Libinus Oduor.

"Let there be thorough investigations on the leaders who were arrested so we know whether or not they were involved in the murders," he said, adding the hearings should also be fair.

"We don't want innocent people to stay in custody for mistakes they did not make."



Mr Oparanya's sentiments came after leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement defended Senator Malala and accused the government of targeting the wrong people.

ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said the party read mischief in Mr Malala's arrest as it came a day before a youths events he was to hold at Masinde Muliro university.

Governor Oparanya further said he was given the names of five key suspects in the murders.

"Two of them were lynched by members of the public. l am asking the remaining three to surrender to the authorities before we come for them," he said.

The county chief linked the rise in criminal activities in the region to an increase in importation of second generation brew.

"People who consume the brew, which is full of dry spirits, end up losing their senses. They are the ones killing others," he said.


Butere MP Tindi Mwale also asked police to conduct thorough investigations to ensure no one linked to the heinous killings of innocent villagers is spared.

"We want the government to be exhaustive in investigations, through the use of surveillance helicopters and sniffer dogs to trace the killers. They should face the full force of the law even if they are the big names in the community," he said.

Regarding the 2022 general elections, Mr Mwale asked politicians to stop early campaigns and concentrate on development.

The MP said such campaigns fan insecurity because some politicians mobilise youths to intimidate their opponents.


Kakamega Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda asked doctors at the Kakamega County Referral Hospital to make arrangements for counsellors to visit affected families.

"The remaining members of families which lost loved ones need to get counselled because l know majority of them are traumatised," Ms Muhanda said.

She added, "Let no one stand in the way of security forces because we want to get to the bottom of the matter."

A contingent of security officers was deployed to guard the burial that Nominated Senator Naomi Shiyonga and a host of members of county assembly also attended.


The leaders spoke at the burial of a pregnant woman and her three-year-old daughter who were hacked to death by a gang two weeks ago

Petronilla Mung'ayi Rapachi, 28, and her daughter Shaline Okhasia were killed, and her husband Stephen Rapachi and their eight-year-old daughter seriously wounded.

The couple's second child was not attacked as the slept with her step-mother that day.

Mr Rapachi and the eight-year-old were treated at the referral hospital.


On Saturday, Mr Rapachi narrated how the gang attacked the family as they slept at about 11pm on May 5.

Mrs Rapachi, who was four months pregnant, was killed as her husband watched.

The widower said he did not know the attackers and what their motive was.

"They forced their way into the house and started attacking us while demanding money. I pleaded with them and explained that I didn't have any but they beat me up and left me for dead," he told mourners during the funeral service at Sayangwe Primary School in Ejinja sub-location, Matungu.

Mr Rapachi said he learned about the death of his wife and daughter a week later, after stabilising.

"Doctors came and told me 'pole (sorry'. I asked them why and that is when they informed me that my wife and daughter were dead. I lost the little energy l had gained and almost fell down but the doctors held and rescued me."