50-year-old man beaten, set ablaze for stealing macadamia nuts

A 50-year-old man was lynched Sunday night, 5 January, by residents of Kiangima Village in Embu West, after he was caught stealing macadamia nuts.

Residents claim that the deceased, Njeru Kanambia, had been stealing from their farms repeatedly, prompting them to set several traps to catch him in the act.

The plots bore no fruit, but Kanambia was eventually nabbed with 5 kg of macadamia nuts Sunday night.

According to area resident, James Muchangi, Kanambia was caught with what appeared to be stolen produce at about 1:00 am.  Muchangi narrates that he heard screams in the wee hours of the morning, but he didn’t leave the house to investigate, thinking that the incident was a normal night disturbance.

When he followed up in the morning, he found  Kanambia’s remains close to a local church, with the body showing signs of assault. The deceased appeared to have been beaten before his body was set ablaze.

Confirming the incident, Kiangima Village Assistant Chief Joseph Maina Muriithi inveterated that Kanambia was caught with loot from one of the local farms.

Though residents complained that Kanambia had previously been suspected to be behind petty thefts in the area – incidents that they say were uninvestigated –,   Muriithi said mob justice is unjustified.

He asked residents to report crimes to the authorities, instead of taking the law into their hands.

Kanambia’s body was taken to Embu Level Five Mortuary as police investigate the incident further.

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