Police are investigating circumstances how couple burnt to death in night arson

Friday, July 30th, 2021 00:00 |
Police officers assess the damage after the arson attack at Charles Mogoa’s home in Sameta sub-county in Kisii County. Photo/D/Robert Ochoro

Police are investigating circumstances under which a couple was burnt to death and their house vandalised in Sameta sub-county in Kisii county.

The couple - Charles Mogoa, a retired teacher, and Florence Moruri a school headmistress - was burnt to death on Thursday at 3am and their house flattened.

The incident comes barely a week after Mogoa had told People Daily that he feared for his life.

The former teacher was known for combating insecurity in the area by reporting suspected criminals to the police.

He said he and a group of villagers had last week pounced on two individuals carrying electronic goods, took them to a police station but they were freed under unclear circumstances.

Fight insecurity

He had told People Daily that when he went to the station to inquire, an officer threatened to shoot him.

“I was with my child when the officer said he would go, return and shoot me. I never wanted to report him at the station because he works there,” Mogoa said.

He said he would report the matter to the Kisii County Police Commander, adding that he had lost several household items to thieves but police had never arrested the suspects.

Yesterday, villagers who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter confirmed that Mogoa had gone to the police to inquire on the fate of the suspects carrying electronics but was threatened.

“He told us that he was being targeted for his move to fight insecurity. Mogoa was a polite and social person who was peaceful and fought for our rights,” one villager said.    

Yesterday, Kisii County Commissioner Allan Macharia said a fire broke out in the home at around 3am. The wife was the headteacher of Gekongo Primary School.

The commissioner, who visited the scene, said area chief Henry Mirera alerted security officers and a fire brigade vehicle from Kisii town was dispatched to the home but their efforts to put out the fire were unsuccessful.

“The fire spread out very fast and it was difficult for the fire brigade and villagers to contain it” the official, who was accompanied by County Police Commander Francis Kooli, told journalists.

He said the house had a jiko and gas cylinders, adding when the fire broke out, there was a loud bang suspected to be a gas cylinder explosion.

He said police had launched investigations and urged locals not to speculate or spread rumours

“Criminal investigations officers will establish what happened and we will share the information,” Macharia said.

Ruth Mong’ina, a neighbour, said they heard an explosion and saw a huge ball of fire, which brought down the house.

“I have never seen any thing like this in my life. The fire was spreading fast and even fire extinguishers could not put it out,” Mong’ina said. 

Mogoa hailed from South Mugirango and had bought land in Sameta area, which is in Bobasi constituency.

About a kilometre from Mogoa’s home, Richard Momanyi is counting losses after unknown people torched his house at 3am.

He said the invaders tied a mosquito net with petrol, ignited it and pushed it through an opening into his sitting room.

“There was a lot of smoke in the house, which forced me to wake up, only to realise seats, curtains and the ceiling were on fire,” Momanyi, a worker at Bishop Mugendi Nyakegogi Secondary School said at his home. He said he woke up his family and scampered to safety and reported the incident at Itumbe police station.

Momanyi said last week, thieves had invaded the home and stole kitchen items.

“We have co-existed with our neighbours since our father bought the land and we settled here.

I urge whoever has problems with us to come forward so that we can resolve them,” Momanyi said.

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