How My Brothers Killed My Son Over Family Property – Kenyan Woman Narrates

A 60-year-old woman from Nakuru County, Kenya, has recounted the events that led to the harrowing death of her eldest son, Dennis Mbugua, in the hands of her brothers in January 2023.



In a heartbreaking interview with activist, Boniface Mwangi, the woman, Jane Waithera said property belonging to her mother had been the cause for hostility and violence after her siblings targeted her and her children who had been residing in her mother’s house at the time of the fateful incident.


According to Ms Waithera, she had been living in Namibia but returned to Kenya in March 2021 to take care of her ailing mother. Her son, Dennis Mbugua, came with her to Miti Mingi, Nakuru, to take care of his grandmother and together, they all lived in her mother’s three-bedroomed house sitting on vast land and surrounded by livestock.


Ms Waithera’s mother’s health worsened and she had to be admitted to hospital for a week, only for her to succumb after seven days in hospital. Her other siblings hadn’t been present as much as she and her son had been for her late mother, and upon her passing, one of her brothers came to confirm that their mother was dead before the drama began.


All funeral arrangements were made and Ms Waither’a mother was buried in December 2022. The following day, early in the morning, two of Ms Waithera’s brothers came to their mother’s house and directed Ms Waithera to immediately vacate the premises because they had plans for it. An argument ensued as Ms Waithera realized her three brothers had held a meeting elsewhere and made their decisions, and were only informing her then

As she was waiting for her mother’s death certificate to be issued, it was decided that after two weeks she would leave the house because that was when the certificate would be ready. However, before the two weeks were up, two of her brothers returned to their mother’s house, where she was living, and demanded she leaves immediately. In the following days, the brothers sold all their mother’s livestock and did not share the monies among the nine siblings they were.


Despite telling them that the two weeks were yet to be up, her brothers descended upon her with blows and kicks, telling her that they were going to kill her on that day and bury her alongside her mother – three weeks after burying their mother. For 15 minutes, they beat her before they suddenly rushed outside. It was then that they returned with armed hooligans but found that Ms Waithera had locked the doors to protect herself.


The brothers broke down the door to access the house. They went after Ms Waithera, who had been hiding by her late mother’s bed and demanded to know where their mother had kept all the land documents. Ms Waithera said her brothers thought she would lie to them but she directed them to a bag where the documents were kept and the brothers took it and left the house.


Peeping from a window to see what was going on in the compound, it was then that Ms Waithera realized her son, Dennis, had returned and as he was heading to access the house using the back door, he ran into his uncles who descended on him with the crowbars and machetes. She revealed that she watched from a window as her brothers cut open her son’s head and then calmly walked to a tap to rinse the blood off their crude weapons, thinking they had killed her son.


“You can still see the traces of blood up to today. Here is where they cut him and left him, and this is where the police picked him up. I could see them through this window doing it but they could not see me. I later came out of the house and went to call for help. It was one o’clock, at the time the sun was hot, and my son stayed here up to two in the afternoon. My son was still alive, groaning in pain and blood was rolling,” said Ms Waithera.


She ran to the road and called for help, and a nurse and a police came and took his son to the intensive care unit in hospital as she hid in a farm for fear of being attacked again.


The head of the Nyumba Kumi then told her Dennis’ car was still outside the compound and her brothers were not anywhere to be seen.


“When I went to the police station, I found my brother, John Kirika, writing a statement. He had been arrested because he went to hide in his compound but Paul had already left for Nairobi, forgetting his brother. I think when you want to pour blood and kill somebody, you don’t go far. He was arrested here. I found him writing a statement and at that time I was crying and shouting before the police comforted me and told me to calm down so they could investigate,” Ms Waithera recounted.


Due to her emotional state, she was asked to return to the police station the following day to write her statement and so she went to the ICU where she was informed her son was in critical condition and on life support. He had been cut 7 times on the head and his jaw was broken.


The following day at the police station, she demanded to see her brother and ask him why they attacked her son and ask about his other brother’s whereabouts. She reminded him that she was the one who helped her parents educate them all and asked why they had repaid her like this. Her brother claimed he had been caught up in the midst of separating a fight between Dennis and his uncle. Dennis passed on after two weeks in the hospital. Ms Waithera’s brothers were charged with murder and the case is ongoing at the Naivasha High Court.


Her siblings never spoke to her following the incident, did not come to bury her son and do not keep in touch with her.


The two arrested brothers, Paul Mukumu Mbugua and John Kirika, were released on a bond of Sh2 million and a surety of the same, leaving Ms Waithera in fear that they would return to attack her again. She, however, prays that justice will prevail for her son.




Written by PH

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