A bizarre scene unfolded on Sunday evening when villagers burst into celebration after an elderly man hacked his middle-aged son to death.
The villagers of Eshirembe village in Butere, Kakamega county were swift to explain their bizarre reaction, terming it good riddance to 38-year-old man who has terrorized them for some time now.
Ironically, the villagers would be mourning the death of John Makokha, 78, who narrowly escaped his son’s murderous rage, had he not seized the panga from.
Father and son had quarreled on Sunday evening over the latter’s habit of stealing and selling the family’s maize.
“When the father inquired from him in the evening, he, as usual turned against him in a murderous rage but fortunately, the father managed to snatch the panga and hacked him to death,” narrated 82-year old Jared Nandwa, a close neighbor.
The deceased, Habil Amunza, was described by villagers as a notorious thief who has been stealing, robbing, maiming and killing people at will.
“They have been leading a quarrelsome life and we were afraid that the son would kill his father like he has been killing people around this village. Fortunately, it is the father who hacked him to death. God is Great!” exclaimed Mr Nandwa who claimed that his second born son was killed by the deceased nine years ago.
“He was the same age with my son and they used to play together as they grew up. But Amunza took a different life that has left the village in tears. He hit my son, Alubokha, with a stool and killed him instantly. He was arrested and released under unclear circumstances four months later,” explained Mr Nandwa.
Mr William Wambani, also a neighbour, said the deceased was a notorious thief who has been waylaying people along the Butere-Masaba-Sidindi road and robbing them of their valuables.
“He has been a very bad person – a serial killer, robber and remained a nuisance to the community. His death is a reprieve in the area,” said Mr Wambani.
In Luhyaland, immediately a death occurs, people gather in the deceased’s home and keep vigil until a few days after burial. But this wasn’t the case at Mr Makokha’s compound following the Sunday incident.
The compound was deserted and there was no sign of mourning. Two of the three houses in the compound were padlocked.
At the doorsteps of the third house whose doors were open was a pool of blood slightly covered with light soil. Inside the house were two wooden chairs. A table stood in one of the corners next to a bed without bedding.
A day before, villagers had joined the family to mark the first anniversary of the woman of the home- Josephine Mukabana Makokha, which involved merrymaking. Mrs Makokha died in January this year leaving her husband with their troublesome son.
Eshirembe sub-location assistant chief Aggrey Maina said he was informed about the death at 9pm and rushed to the home.
“I found the body of the deceased lying in a pool of blood in the doorway of his house. I called the police who moved the body to Kakamega general hospital mortuary,” said Mr Maina.
The administrator said the suspect was arrested by police and booked at Butere police station.