Father of seven dies over unpaid bride price

A man in Taita Taveta County was allegedly killed by his son for failing to pay bide price.

Wundanyi OCPD Benjamin Muhia said the deceased, 67, was beaten to death by his son after a brief argument over unpaid bride price for his mother who died 12 years ago.

Mr Muhia said the suspect clobbered his father using a metal bar after he failed to explain why he had not honoured their tradition, even after pleading with him severally to do so.

“We have arrested the suspect and we intend to arraign him in court after investigations are completed.

“From our investigations, we have found that the quarrel begun when the suspect asked his father why he had not paid the bride price, but investigations are still ongoing to unearth more information,” Mr Muhia said.

The body of the father of seven was taken to Wesu sub-county hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem.

Investigating Officer Christopher Langat and Wundanyi Divisional Criminal Investigation Officer Eunice Maina, who visited the crime scene, said the murder weapon was recovered from the suspect.

“We have recovered the metal bar we suspect was used to commit the crime, but we are still looking for more details to determine the motive of the murder,” Inspector Langat said.

Mr Langat said preliminary investigations indicate that the suspect killed his father due to unpaid bride price, which he claimed had brought a bad omen to their family.

“The family of the late mother had been putting pressure on the deceased to pay bride price, so when the son asked his father about it, he (father) charged towards him (son) and hell broke loose,” he said.

Mrs Maina said that they found the deceased lying in a pool of blood inside their house where the fight occurred.

“The metal bar inflicted injuries on his hands meaning he was shielding himself from his son’s attacks. The blunt object can be said to have caused his death,” she said, adding that the weapon will be subjected to ballistic analysis.

The daughter, who witnessed the incident, claimed that their father had instigated the quarrel.

“He came home drunk and when my brother asked him about the bride price, he charged towards him, slapped and kicked him. I tried to separate them but my father insisted on disciplining him,” she said.

She said that after half an hour of physical fight, their father got hold of the metal bar and hit her brother twice, before he managed to grab it from him.

“The suspect managed to snatch the metal bar from my father and hit him on the head repeatedly, he bled profusely and fell down,” she recalled.

She said consequences of unpaid bride price had started manifesting in their family as his younger brothers were “getting mad while some had their blessings blocked”.

“In our tradition, failing to pay bride price has negative consequences. These are what we had started witnessing that forced my brother to approach him to address the issue,” she said.

The OCPD urged the residents to solve family issues peacefully to avoid death or other calamities.

“These are minor issues that can be discussed at family level. We call upon the residents to practice tolerance and employ peaceful conflict resolution mechanism,” he said.

The suspect is remanded at Wundanyi Police station.


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