Two suspects arrested for the murder of four Chonyi elders


Kilifi, KENYA: Security agencies in Kilifi County have confirmed the arrest of two suspects in the grisly murder of four elderly people in Chonyi division, early this week.

Kilifi county commissioner Joseph Keter said officers from the multi-agency security team are closing on, on  seven other suspects including a man who is suspected to have killed a wife of one of the two suspects who was arrested by police.

Addressing the public at Banda Ra Salama in Chonyi on Friday, Keter said police are also tracking down a person known as ‘Ferdinand’ who is believed to have been involved in criminal activities around Chonyi and Jibana areas.

He said the man has currently been on the run and had relocated to Kwale County on receiving information that police were looking for him.

“It is very sad that in Chonyi, people have turned to be ruthless by killing innocent people like animals,” Keter said.

“How possible on earth can we have four innocent souls lost within a span of two days? A sad incident is the killing of Daniel Nzai in a funeral at the glare of the public yet the criminals have not been arrested,” added Keter.

He asked the security team to make sure that all the suspects are arrested as fast as possible before Monday.

Keter argued that bad blood between the security agencies and the locals is to blame for the increasing cases of deaths in Chonyi.

“We lost eight people in Junju as the year ended and among them were five elderly people on witchcraft allegations,” reckoned Keter.

“This week, three people were killed in Chasimba location and one person in Mwarakaya. Why are you Chonyis doing this to your people,” questioned Keter.

The commissioner said security agents will not relent until all the suspects in the killings are arrested, adding that the locals will have to answer hard questions over the senseless killings.

“If a criminal can have the guts to call an Assistant County Commissioner threatening a wife of one of the suspects and then that person is not arrested, it speaks volume of the bad blood between the locals and the security team,” said Keter.

He urged chiefs and their assistants to immediately form village peace and security committees that shall be charged with responsibility of maintaining peace and identifying criminals in their hideouts for ease of arrest by police.

In 2015, Keter said 106 elders were killed on witchcraft allegations but the number reduced to 86 in 2016 in what he said was a spirited campaign to educate the locals on the importance of elders in the society.

However, area MCA Mzungu Chitibwi urged the youths to desist from violence and distance themselves from being used by politicians to wreak havoc and destroy peaceful living of the people.