A 23-year-old casual labourer is nursing serious burns inflicted on him with a hot machete allegedly by a military man over claims that he stole his assailant’s chickens in Kagwani village, Igoji East, Meru County.
Mr Dennis Kinyua is recuperating at Kanyakine sub-county hospital, following the overnight attack.
Mr Kinyua claims he was assaulted and burnt in the hands, legs and face to compel him to confess.
He claims the soldier, identified as Private Danson Mutuma Kithinji, who is based at Kahawa Garrison, brutally attacked him at night as he slept about 12 days ago.
Detectives from both the military and police visited the patient on Tuesday and recorded his statement and later placed Private Mutuma in custody awaiting his arraignment.
Imenti South police boss William Maronga said he was in communication with the military police and that they would produce the suspect in court once Mr Kinyua recuperates and fills a P3 form.
He said the officer had gone back to his work station after committing the act.
“The officers who visited the patient called the workplace and he was immediately placed in custody. We are waiting for the patient to recuperate so that we see what offence to charge him with,” said Mr Maronga on the phone.
Mr Kinyua says he was tied with a rope and taken to the soldier’s house where he was forced to eat unripe bananas and pepper, with some being applied to his eyes.
The soldier was later joined by his mother and two siblings who stripped Kinyua naked and continued torturing him while demanding that he confess.
The man then allegedly heated a panga using a gas cooker and used it to cut and burn Kinyua’s body.
Mr Kinyua said three days before the incident, his uncle had told him that he was being suspected of stealing their neighbour’s chickens and that they were threatening to harm him.
They claimed to have spotted chicken feathers in a toilet Mr Kinyua and his uncle use.
He, however, ignored the threats and went about his work at the nearby Mutonga quarry where he had secured a job after leaving Nairobi in May at the height of Covid-19 pandemic.
He said he never had any incident with his attacker’s family and did not suspect they could harm him.
“I was woken up on Sunday at 2am as I slept in my father’s house and frog-marched towards their house. I wonder why they did this to me. I have only been living in this village since May. I stayed elsewhere for the first two months,” Mr Kinyua lamented.
He claims that after the incident he was tied to a mango tree outside his assailant’s compound where he stayed until morning when he was rescued by a relative.
“I could not even open my eyes due to the pepper applied on my eyes. I also couldn’t walk for some days. If I had not been immediately taken to hospital, my wounds would have worsened. The man has ruined my life since I cannot work or fend for myself as I used to. He should be arrested,” Mr Kinyua said.
His brother, Mr Erick Mwiti, said they were already being intimidated.