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Why serial killer Masten Wanjala could be buried along a riverbed

In Summary

  • Wanjala was cornered by a mob at Mukhweya village in Bungoma.
  • This came two days after he escaped from Jogoo Road Police station in Nairobi.

Serial killer Masten Millimo Wanjala who was lynched by an angry mob at Mukhweya village, Bungoma County, could be buried by a riverbank.

Bukusu traditions dictate that a person who kills another has committed a taboo and is ostracised by family even in death.

According to Bukusu elder Isaac Misiko, the self-confessed serial killer could be buried by a riverside, so that his spirits do not haunt the family or community. They believe that as the river flows downstream, its waters will wash away Wanjala’s cursed spirits.

Mtoto kama huyu ambaye ameua ni laana kubwa sana. Hiyo sasa utawekwa kando kabisa na familia. Na ukikufa, mazishi haiwezi fanyika kwa boma, na tena watakuzika kando kabisa kwa mtoni uko mbali kabisa. Kwa sababu wana believe ya kwamba mto vile unapitisha maji ukienda itasafisha hiyo laana mpaka baharini,” says the elder.

Misiko says that it is for this reason that some members of the Bukusu community don’t eat fish, because they believe they are contaminated with evil spirits.

Na hii ndiyo maana sisi Wabukusu hatupendi sana kukula samaki kwa sababu iko kwa bahari iliyo na laana nyingi.”

Family refuses to bury serial killer

This comes amid reports that the family of Wanjala has refused to bury him for fear of attracting a curse.

Mukhweya Assistant Chief Abiud Musungu says that the family has backtracked on the plans to bury their kin and needed more time to consult over the same.

“The family changed tune suddenly and disowned the serial killer immediately he was lynched. His father had asked for forgiveness on behalf of his son from the families of the victims,” the local administrator said.

Wanjala was killed in the morning of October 15, two days after fleeing from Jogoo Road Police Station. He was wanted for the murder of at least 12 children.

Bungoma County Assistant Commissioner Cornelius Nyaribai said Wanjala was beaten to death after being spotted by the residents. It was not immediately clear whether he was attempting to reach out to his family members who live in the area.

How Did He Reach Bungoma?

Police are still investigating how he travelled all the way from Nairobi to Bungoma without detection. They are also trying to establish whether his escape was abetted since he had no money (at least for bus fare) at the time of his escape from custody.

Three police officers have since been arrested and subsequently charged in court, following Wanjala’s puzzling escape.

Before the escape, Wanjala, 22, was yet to take formal plea in court.

Macabre Murders

Police linked him to murders in Nairobi, Machakos and Western Kenya. When he was first arrested in July this year, he confessed to the macabre killings.

Police say he lured his victims on the pretext that he was a football coach. He subsequently murdered them and hid their bodies. Only five bodies were recovered.


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