NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 17 – The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is investigating an incident involving the death of a 22-year-old man who was stoned to death on suspicion of stealing chicken in Busia’s Nambale town.
The DCI said in a statement released on Friday that the victim identified as Collins Omieno met his death on Thursday, after he was attacked by an angry mob while attempting to sell a chicken and five chicks suspected to have been stolen.
The detectives said that the victim had concealed the chicken in a gunnysack at the time of the incident.
“Collins Omieno, 22, lost his life in the most unorthodox manner, after he failed to prove ownership of the chicken, argued to be the region’s most sought-after delicacy. In the ensuing melee as he tried to prove ownership, word came that some chicken had earlier been stolen in a nearby center,” the DCI said in statement.
The victim took to his heels upon learning that he had been cornered in a desperate attempt to escape from the rowdy mob who were baying for his blood.
He is said to have been pursued by the mob for about two kilometers before he was murdered.
“When Omieno learnt that he had been cornered, he took to his heels as the angry mob chased after him baying for his blood. He ran for dear life for about two kilometers, but the mob pursuing him was unrelenting! They wanted him dead. Upon reaching cotton ginnery grounds, the crowd caught up with Omieno who was already worn out and could run no more. They descended on him with blows, kicks and all manner of projectiles that they could get hold on, killing him on the spot,” the DCI stated.
The criminal investigation agency cautioned the members of the public against taking law into their hands asking then to instead report any cases of theft and breach of law to the authorities to give room for investigations and appropriate action.
Cases of mob justice have been on the rise in the country raising concerns in the security sector.
On August 6, four men Fred Mureithi aged 30, his younger brother Victor Mwangi, and their two cousins Mike George both aged 29, and 28-year-old Nicholas Musa were lynched by an angry mob in Kitengela on suspicion of being livestock thieves.
Their families said the victims had gone to Kitengela for a birthday and a housewarming party when they were ambushed as they walked to a kiosk to buy dinner. They were in three motorcycles.
Witness accounts indicated the four were attacked near a river around Kisaju area at 6pm, as they looked for a kiosk to buy food.
The main suspect believed to have orchestrated the murder was later arrested on August 17 by the DCI detectives.