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Man sentenced to death for killing mentally challenged person for ritual

A middle-aged man was on Monday sentenced to death by hanging after being found guilty for the murder of a mentally challenged man.

The accused, Thomas Barasa Mamai, was charged with killing Samuel Mungai Njoroge for the purpose of harvesting body parts that were to be used for a witchcraft ritual.

He was sentenced to death by Lady Justice Ngenye Macharia of the Eldoret High Court.

The accused was said to have carried out the murder in Huruma Estate, Eldoret town, on the night of 3rd and 4th of September 2010.


According to the charges, the accused jointly with others not before court was hired by a witch doctor to murder and harvest the body parts of a mentally challenged person.

The deceased was widely known within the area as a jovial and social man who would go visiting several homes. On the fateful night, he was lured into the accused’s house by an invitation to drink his favourite drink chang’aa.

The following morning, the deceased’s mutilated body was found in a ditch on the roadside near the house of the accused house.

The investigatiing officer told the court that the accused had been hired by a witch doctor by the name Omoding from Malaba. His assignment was to look for two legs and the right middle finger of a mentally challenged person.

“That is how the accused identified the deceased as the right person to get the body parts from owing to his mental condition,” Corporal Samson Owaga of CID Eldoret had said in his testimony.

Police found blood splashed all over the accused’s house and a big blot of blood underneath the PVC carpet on the floor.


DNA analysis proved that blood found on the accused’s trouser and shoe belonged to the deceased.

The investigating officer told the court that the accused had been visited by three men on the night of September 3, 2010 with a message from witch doctor Omoding.

He was to go to Eldoret and look for two legs and right middle finger of a mentally challenged man. In return, he would be paid a sum of sh500, 000.

Police were unable to arrest the witch doctor, who reportedly escaped to Uganda, due to the strigent diplomatic protocol required.

Lady Justice Macharia said her judgment was based on the strength of evidence brought against the accused by prosecution, which shows that the suspect knew of his intention to kill a mentally challenged person for rituals purposes.

“In the result, I find that the prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt. I find the accused guilty of the offence of murder contrary to Section 203 of the Penal Code and I convict him accordingly,” said Lady Justice Macharia while delivering judgment.