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Student beaten to death in bar as drinking spree goes awry

A university student was allegedly beaten to death in a bar in Huruma, Nairobi.

Joseph Nyoike Kang’ethe, who was a second year student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, was at Vineyard bar with friends and relatives on Saturday where they say he was beaten to death.

They accused the police of a cover-up, saying the bar was now guarded by four administration police officers.

On Wednesday, Kang’ethe’s cousin Joseph Mbucho said they went to the bar, a few metres from their home, with their two friends, Mungai and Mugumo.

“At around 2am, my cousin left us and went to the counter while holding a glass. A few minutes later, I heard a glass break and then my cousin screamed. I went to the counter to check on him, but he was being pushed out by two security guards,” Mbucho said.

He said the bar owner Samuel Muchungu, who is also their neighbour, was seated near the counter and when Mbucho asked why his cousin was being beaten, Mr Muchungu told the guards to throw him out as well.

BEAT ME UP

“The two guards returned and beat me up in front of Mr Muchungu. I was hit twice on the head and once on my left shoulder with a rungu,” he said.

Mbucho said he went home, all the while thinking his cousin had also gone home, only to be woken up in the morning by a relative who told him that Kang’ethe had died and his body was on a veranda near the bar.

Their uncle, Mr George Kariuki, said the family was distraught and that no arrests had been made.

But Mr Muchungu said he had seen Kang’ethe in the bar that night but denied that he was beaten by the guards. “I have been running the business for 18 years and during that period, I have always asked the guards never to use force if there is need to get customers out of the bar,” Mr Muchungu said.

He said there was commotion and a quarrel ensued between Kang’ethe and his friends.

“Usually, we throw out anyone causing a commotion in the bar but I can assure you we did not use force on this particular day,” he said, adding that he was also shocked at the news of the death.

Mr Muchungu said he went to Jon Saga police station where he recorded a statement.

“I asked the police to guard my premises because the neighbours had threatened to cause fracas. As a Kenyan, I am entitled to protection whenever I feel threatened,” he said.

Nairobi County police commander Japheth Koome said they had not arrested anyone as no witness had gone to the police to give an account of what happened. “But investigations are ongoing,” Mr Koome said.

A post-mortem examination by Dr Dorothy Njeru at the Kenyatta University Funeral Home states that Kang’ethe had a broken rib and other soft tissue injuries.

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