Elderly couple escape death after jilted son torched their matrimonial home

NAKURU: Police are holding a 36-year-old man suspected of trying to kill his parents by setting the family house on fire following a property dispute.

Joseph Ndung’u, 36, is suspected to have sneaked into his parents’ house in Wanyororo area, Bahati sub-county, on Tuesday night while his parents slept, doused the house in petrol, and set it ablaze.

revux5ti4s03doxw596fc4bc8e217 Elderly couple escape death after jilted son torched their matrimonial home
What remained of a house after a man set his parents’ house on fire at Wanyororo B in Bahati, Nakuru on July 19, 2017. Mr Joseph Ndung’u is said to have set ablaze the house while his parents Nathan Waweru,61, Teresia Mugure,45, and their daughter Mary Mwihaki,7,were deep asleep at around 2am. Photo/Suleiman Mbatiah/Standard

Nathan Waweru, 61, his wife Teresiah Mogure (45), and their three-and-a-half year old daughter survived death when they broke out of the burning house.

Mr Waweru said he suspected that his son was behind the attack because he turned up hours after the house had burned to ashes and expressed surprise that his parents were still alive.

Neighbours who responded to the couple’s screams said Ndung’u was nowhere to be seen as they fought to put out the fire.

They said he arrived home hours later, at around 4.30am, and upon spotting his father, ran to his house and came out armed with a machete.

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“I heard him say ‘hawa hawajakufa. Nitawaua’ (these people are still alive. I will kill them),” narrated his father.

Waweru was rescued by neighbours who had gathered in the compound. He said his son’s violent reaction convinced him that he was behind the fire.

Ndung’u, the second born in a family of eight siblings, is said to have quarrelled with his father over the inheritance of property. He had been jail in the past for using drugs.

In 2007, Ndung’u was arrested and charged in a Nakuru court for being in possession of bhang. He was imprisoned for 10 years at the Nakuru Prison.

Ndung’u appealed the case and was released in October last year after seven years.

Waweru said he had allocated Ndung’u a quarter acre of land when he was release, but he wanted more.

“I have cared for my son from childhood. After his release from prison, I gave him a piece of land to enable him develop but he insists I should give him more,” said Waweru.

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Narrating his ordeal to The Standard from his hospital bed, Waweru said he had spent the whole of Tuesday at the Ministry of Lands, trying to resolve the dispute and after returning home, he requested for a meeting with his son.

Ndung’u did not turn up for the meeting.

His father was said to have gone to sleep but was awakened by a loud bang on the door. He found the corridor in flames.

He rushed to open the door but found it locked from outside.

Waweru broke a window and rescued his wife and daughter, who sustained minor injuries. Nothing was salvaged from the house.

Area police boss Edward Wafula said officers were investigating the incident and that the suspect was being held at Bahati police station.

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