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Missing taxi driver’s phone, clothes found in pit latrine, more than 50km away.

Edward Mburu, aka “Mumari” in an earlier picture.

The cellphone and clothes belonging to missing taxi driver were on Wednesday found dumped into a pit latrine in Nanga village, Ithanga Sub Location of Gatanga Constituency, some 50 kilometres away from Makongeni Estate where he was last seen.

Edward Mburu, aka “Mumari” who operates a taxi at Makongeni Thika, went missing on Friday night after he received a call from unknown person at around 11pm. His car, a Toyota Succeed registration number KBS 751R, also went missing but was later recovered in Kihumbu-ini centre in Gatanga on Sunday where two suspects were nabbed.

Their arrest led the search for Mburu to Nanga village to the home of one of the suspects where, according to reports from his neighbours, the car was driven into the compound at the wee hours of Saturday morning and slept over before it was driven off the following day to an unknown destination.

Preliminary reports indicate that, on the material night, the suspect’s mother informed her husband that she was expecting some visitors in the night but never disclosed what kind they would be.

Upon arrival of her ‘guests’, she is said to have opened the gate but ordered her husband back into the house before spending some long period out with the visitors.

“Wa Mumbi (the husband) told us today that after a while, he heard someone scream about three times and then all went quiet. His wife later called him to drive the vehicle into the compound but he declined asking her to let the driver who came in with it to do so himself after he saw some blood stains in the car plus a knife stained in blood,” narrated one of the neighbours.

The following morning, the mother to the first suspect is alleged to have been seen burning some clothing in the garden and later left the compound for her daughter’s home in Kiganjo Estate Thika.

Tuesday morning, word went round that the mom might have been involved in the kidnapped and was holed up somewhere in Kiganjo. Irate members of the public went to look for her but her daughter managed to sneak her out to an unknown hideout.

Her search drove them to Nanga where they searched everywhere in the compound for the missing person.

Mburu and the car he was in when he vanished on Friday night.
It was during the search that they discovered Mburu’s phone and some of his blood stained clothing dumped inside the latrine. This necessitated a more thorough search and by the time we left the area at around 7pm on Wednesday, the villagers were draining the family’s borehole in the hope of getting Mburu’s body, just in case they had killed him and dumped his remains there.

On interrogating the villagers, they confessed that the woman and the son were so close and usually moved together almost at all times. They claimed that the two were conservative and never interacted with fellow villagers not unless they were forced by circumstances.

“Boniface Mwangi (the first suspect) never associates himself with youth of his age. He is always following his mother around and we even don’t know what he does for a living because he just visits here very rarely,” said one villager.

The villagers claim that Mburu’s might be related to this family’s feud that emanates from the piece of land they live in.

Villagers of Nanga draining the borehole at Wa Mumbi's homestead in an attempt to check whether Mburu's body could have been dumped inside.
“This woman and her children have been wanting to take the land from the father and have previously attempted to kill him when he refused to transfer its ownership to them. They might have hired the vehicle with intent to use it to ferry the body of their dead father once they killed him. The taxi driver might have refused to cooperate thus, they decided to eliminate him instead,” said another villager.

The woman is said to be a second wife after the first one to this man died. By the time of their reunion, she had other kids who include the suspect.

According to the villagers, the second suspect who is an immediate neighbour to the family, might have gotten into the trap unawares as he is a driver by profession and might have been hired to drive the vehicle by the first suspect and his mother.

He is the person who was found in the car at Kihumbu-ini Trading Centre after it developed “some mechanical problems”. By then, the first suspect had gone to recharge the car battery, probably thinking that it was the source of the car’s stalling and failing to start the engine.

Other than the two, police are holding the sister to the first suspect and have questioned their father and an aunt to the second suspect who lives in Kihumbu-ini.

The mother to the first suspect is still at large.

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