Crimes of Passion in Kenya: On Saturday, a shocking story on how a couple in Kitui had resulted to sharing wives was published by a leading local newspaper.
The story in the Saturday Nation went on to show how the intertwined affairs ended in the brutal murder of one of the wives’ husbands.
“A series of inappropriate photos shared between two couples are at the centre of police investigations into the murder of a youth leader in Kitui County,” the story by the Saturday Nation began. This is the latest in the rising cases of crimes of passion in Kenya.
Here is the full story as was published by the Saturday Nation:
Mr Benjamin Muema Kinyali, who was an official of the National Youth Council in Kitui Rural constituency, was last month found murdered and his partly burnt body dumped in a thicket near Tiva River in Kwa Vonza, 25km from Kitui Town.
Police have established that weeks before his killing, Mr Kinyali’s marriage was on the rocks following a series of domestic quarrels with his wife over allegations of infidelity.
According to multiple police sources, the youth leader had suspected that his wife was having an illicit affair with one of the suspects in the murder and decided to ‘revenge’ by befriending the man’s wife.
The wife-sharing was widely known among their friends and families, and deeply strained his marriage.
Mrs Kinyali’s alleged boyfriend, who works at the Kitui County Referral Hospital as a nurse and a mortician, is among suspects who have been questioned and detained by police over the killing.
The suspects are expected to be formally charged at the Kitui Law Courts on Monday. Police say they have gathered crucial evidence regarding everyone accused in the murder.
Kitui County DCI boss Paul Wachira told the Saturday Nation that the murder was a crime of passion involving a “love quadrangle”.
Mr Wachira confirmed that his officers had arrested and interrogated several suspects including Mr Kinyali’s wife and the nurse.
“We are holding several suspects and still pursuing more. Our investigations are almost complete and we’ll soon determine who to charge with the offence,” Mr Wachira said without disclosing further details.
The Saturday Nation has learnt that a week before he was murdered, Mr Kinyali had displayed nude photos of himself and his rival’s wife on his phone, upsetting his wife.
She allegedly reacted angrily and later shared the photos through WhatsApp with her new lover and his wife.
The two couples then agreed to meet the following day at Mulutu market to iron out their differences and save their marriages.
The agenda of the meeting was to apologise to each other and open a fresh chapter in their lives by ending the illicit affairs.
Kinyali, however, snubbed the meeting, but the other couple and his wife met.
Mr Kinyali was killed days later, on April 15, on his way home. His mother, Florence Kinyali, said her son’s marriage was troubled but she never expected that the woes would end his life.
The mother of the deceased, a retired teacher, urged the police to expedite the investigations and bring all those involved in his son’s murder to justice.
“The news of my son’s killing was very devastating to me. I don’t want to speculate on the motive of the killing or those involved but as a family, we want speedy justice,” she said.
It is not clear if any of the lovers was directly involved in the crime but the sequence of events preceding his death have placed the three at the centre of investigations.
His killers placed a used car tyre on his chest and doused his body with petrol before setting it ablaze.
However, soon after the killers lit Mr Kinyali’s body and escaped, the fire went off, having burnt his hands and chest only.
The youth official, popularly known as BMK, is described by friends as humble and articulate, and was actively involved in political campaigns in the 2017 General Election.