Police in Murang’a South Sub County are investigating an incident where an 85-year-old woman perished in a housefire on Monday night.
The body of Pauline Wanjiru was recovered on Tuesday morning by local residents after her house was reduced to ashes by an inferno.
Residents of Kaharati village are yet to come to terms with the death and suspect that the fire could have been started by somebody maliciously.
The granny, locals said, was active and could have cried out for help when the fire started and claim Wanjiru was murdered and the culprits wanted to depict the incident as a normal accident.
They said Wanjiru who stayed alone in her house, used to do farm activities including taking care of her livestock.
A nephew to the deceased, Joseph Mwangi said there was a hole which was dug near the granny’s house claiming the perpetrators wanted to bury the body of her grandmother in the hole.
“The freshly dug hole indicates that my aunt was to be buried there after being killed but the murderers decided to set her ablaze in her own house after killing her,” alleged the nephew.
Murang’a South Sub County Police Commander Dorothy Gaitenge said deaths of elderly citizens in homes is alarming hence the need for further investigations.
Gaitenge said in a span of two months, three incidents were reported in the Sub County noting that the victims died in their homes, with suspicion of arson attack suspected to relate to feuds over family properties.
The commander added that cases of family disputes are highly contributing to murder cases which are camouflaged to look like a suicide.
Elderly people, Gaitenge noted, are being targeted by those who want to inherit their land among other properties.
Murang’a County Commissioner Mohammed Barre last year ordered investigations of suicide incidents, following suspicions some victims could be killed following land disputes.
He ordered criminal investigation officers to conduct thorough investigations in all suicide incidents, following the suspicions related to suicides.
He added that the police are pursuing several cases to establish if they were murders concealed through suicide claims.
KNA by Bernard Munyao/Rose Wairimu