Was soldier’s macabre killing premeditated?

Thursday, November 26th, 2020 00:00 |
The late Lazarus Mwangi. Photo/PD/Nyaboga Kiage

Nyaboga Kiage 

The gruesome murder of Lazarus Mwangi, 25, a junior soldier, seems to have been well-planned and executed.

Mwangi’s body was mutilated, eyes gouged, all limbs and hands broken. His body was found dumped at Masinga Dam in Machakos on November 22.

On November 14, Mwangi  left his residence at Kahawa Barracks in Kiambu county after informing his seniors he was going to pick a parcel he had been sent from Mariakani Barracks in Kilifi. 

That was the last time he was seen alive. 

Mwangi had been initially posted to Mariakani Barracks in 2016 before his mysterious transfer to Kahawa Barracks in December 2019.

 His transfer had, however, raised eyebrows because it is rare for a junior soldier of his rank to be transferred within that time frame. 

Yesterday, a senior army official told People Daily that transfers rarely happen, especially with young and inexperienced soldiers. 

“If a young soldier has been transferred, such a move can only be considered when he has specialised on a specific field and his expertise are required elsewhere.

That is when a transfer can  occur,” the officer who sought anonymity said. The deceased is said to have informed his wife, Ms Doris Muhoro, that he had gone to pick a parcel. 

On the fateful night, Muhoro tried several times to reach her husband but the calls went unanswered. She fell asleep. 

However, during the night,Muhoro’s phone was called eight times by a private number at around 3am but she never answered because she was dead asleep and could not hear it ringing. 

In Dagoretti, Nairobi the same night at 3am, Ms Jackline Wangeci, Mwangi’s sister, also received a call from a private number. 

The caller who said that he was calling from Gilgil in Nakuru informed her that her brother had been kidnapped. 

Same day

On November 15, Mwangi’s  family shared what had transpired that night and efforts to trace him started the same day.

The deceased kin  reported the matter at Kikuyu Police Station where both Ms Muhoro and Ms Wangeci recorded statements on what had transpired since the disappearance of  Mwangi. 

A detective privy to the investigations, and who spoke to People Daily on condition of anonymity said Mwangi’s phone Global Positioning System (GPS) history was traced to Muthurwa  in  Nairobi. 

The detective further said that already, a woman had been arrested in connection with Mwangi’s death after sleuths attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations traced the people who called him on the day he disappeared. 

“The people who called his sister saying they were calling from Gilgil were traced to Kamukunji. Already some arrests have been made,” the sleuth said. 

Detectives have also obtained a series of chats between his brother based in South Sudan and an investigating officer. “They killed him after kidnapping him. We believe it was a bait. There  was nothing like a parcel he was supposed to pick,” the brother said. 

Masinga Police boss Francis Siror confirmed that residents recovered a badly mutilated body and informed them. 

Consequently, the police informed the family who picked and transferred it to Thika Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary. 

An autopsy conducted yesterday established that Mwangi was strangled to death.

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