Court stops burial of varsity student as 4 suspects detained - Beaking Kenya News

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Thursday, 15 August 2019

Court stops burial of varsity student as 4 suspects detained

From left: Allan Muchangi, Joseph Weru Wairimu,
NDUNG'U GACHANE
By NDUNG'U GACHANE
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A court in Murang’a has stopped any plans to bury Chuka University student Maureen Wanjiku Mwihaki, 22, who died under mysterious circumstances, until an application to detain four people accused of her murder is heard and determined.
This was after two lawyers representing two of the suspects Thursday successfully sought the orders seeking to stop the burial until investigations to unravel the mystery behind the death are complete.
Lawyers Margarete Kimani and Mwaniki Wa Rima, representing Allan Muchangi and Brenda Wanjiru respectively, urged the court to issue orders to preserve the body until the hearing and determination of the application filed by the investigating officer to detain the suspects and take them for a mental test.
Two other suspects, Joseph Weru Wairimu and Maureen Wambui, were not represented.
FAMILY NOT PRESENT
Ms Mwihaki’s family was also not present in court and neither did they have a lawyer to represent them.
“I order that the body of the deceased be preserved until the hearing and determination of the application by the investigating officer Mr Pius Kasuni,” Resident Magistrate Sheila Nyaga ruled.
The application by the investigating officer sought to have the suspects detained for two weeks to allow police conclude investigations to unravel the student who had attended a friend’s graduation party later died.
“We seek for two weeks to detain the suspects at Murang’a Police Station for further investigations since they are alleged to have murdered the deceased as they were the last people to have contact with her. We also intend to have them taken for mental tests,” the affidavit by the detectives read.
The defence did not object to the request and the magistrate ordered that the suspects be detained until August 28, 2019 when the matter will be mentioned.
ARRESTED
The suspects were arrested Wednesday, a day after a post-mortem examination contradicted their version that the student died in hospital where she had allegedly been taken after she complained of stomach complications.
But the post-mortem examination revealed that she was strangled to death.
Contacted by the Nation, Ms Mwihaki’s relatives said they received the news of the court order stopping her burial with shock.
They said they had planned to bury her on Monday next week and preparations were already at an advanced stage.
NOT AWARE
Family spokesman David Njoroge Maina said they were not aware that the suspects would be taken to court on Thursday, insisting that the police kept them in the dark.
“I’m in the middle of printing the eulogy for our departed daughter. We had started meetings and the church, friends and the community know that she will be buried on Monday next week; in fact I’m getting the reports (of stopping the burial) from you,” Mr Maina told the Nation.
REVIEW RULING
He said the family will meet to raise money to hire a lawyer to file an application seeking the review of the ruling as continuing to preserve the body in the mortuary is denying their kin the chance for a decent send off.
“The post-mortem report is out. What else do they want to do with the body? We wonder why the police failed to inform us that they were taking the suspects to court. Now that we have the information, we shall have a family gathering to raise money and hire a lawyer to seek the review of the ruling,” Mr Maina said.
He said postponing the burial will be costly for them as they have already spent money preparing for the same.

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