A landlady and her husband survived lynching in Bungoma County after the body of a middle-aged man was found inside their house on Wednesday.
The incident happened at Mpeli Village in Chwele Market, Kabuchai Constituency in Bungoma Central at 7am.
It is suspected that 31-year-old Loice Kasembeli, nicknamed Mama Kelele by her neighbours, and her husband took part in alleged murder of their tenant, whose name police declined to reveal as a section of his family hadn’t been informed of his death.
Neighbours, who had not seen the deceased for a while, stormed Ms Kasembeli’s house, where they discovered that the “missing” person was dead.
Angered by the shocking discovery, the irate neighbours beat up the landlady and her husband, seriously injuring them in the process.
Police officers from Chwele post arrived at the scene and rescued the suspects after firing in the air to disperse the enraged mob.
The deceased had visible neck injuries; and he was hanging from an improvised rope made out of a leso that was tied to the roof.
Neighbours say the alleged victim engaged in menial jobs to survive. He leaves behind a wife and a 2-year-old child.
The alleged murder took place after the said-victim was involved in a heated argument with the landlady.
The deceased had lived in the woman’s house for one year and was paying a monthly rent of Ksh500, neighbours said.
Robert Wangila, who is Ms Kasembeli’s neighbour, claims the commercial property owner is notorious for harassing tenants who fail to pay their house rent on time.
Mr Wangila says the landlady “detained” the now-deceased in her house for not remitting rent on time.
“We had earlier confronted Ms Kasembeli and asked her where our [now-deceased] neighbour was. She declined to respond directly, only saying she has a detention cell, in which she throws rent defaulters. Early today [Wednesday], we stormed her house and found the man’s lifeless body in one of the rooms,” said Mr Wangila.
The informant says the woman’s husband reached for a panga and threatened to kill them.
The residents, however, managed to snatch the weapon from him before beating up the couple.
Florence Nasambu, who is the landlady’s neighbour, says the woman on Wednesday morning told other tenants that the now-deceased had gone to request for drinking water from her. The landlady, in her testimony, alleged that the now-dead tenant was drunk when he arrived at her house.
“This woman (Ms Kasembeli) is often rude to her tenants, hence her nickname Mama Kelele. When she takes alcohol, she often insult everyone, boasting how blessed she is,” said Ms Nasambu.
Citizen Digital could not independently verify Ms Nasambu’s allegations.
The landlady’s house was set on fire during the melee.
Bungoma Central Sub-County police commander, David Kandie, confirmed the incident, saying investigations into the shocking death have begun.
The deceased was taken to Bungoma County Referral Hospital mortuary.
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