Drama unfolded in Kiharu, Murang’a County after stolen panties were discovered in a womans house.
The matter came to light on Tuesday, after 18-year-old Wilson Muturi Macharia was cornered by irate villagers who linked him to the disappearance of their undergarments.
His father, Gibson Macharia Mwangi, who feared he would be killed together with his employer where the clothes were found tipped off the media about the incident. Muturi who disclosed that he was contracted by Esther Gachoki Mwangi to steal the panties, said he got exposed after he was spotted leaving one of the victim’s house with the undergarments he had stolen. It also emerged panties in their hundreds had vanished from the village and some women were shy to state in public that they were victims. Muturi explained that Gachoki approached him with a request that he steals the inner wear although she did not disclose where she was to take them after that. “Mama Songa requested me to run an errand for her of stealing women panties with a promise that she will pay me dearly if I agreed. I first declined but on Thursday, October 25, she reminded me the same and directed me that I go to Mama Kahingo’s home and steal her panties. She also told me to raid Mama Njoki’s home and steal her panties too and that of her grand-daughter. After stealing, she met me at a secret location and I gave her the panties and she gave me KSh 2,000 in return,” he narrated to the shocked villagers.
The suspect said that to get the items, he would break into the houses of those targeted. This, after women in the village stopped airing their under garments outside following the mysterious disappearance. Jane Muthoni who is one of the victims narrated how she had found her house broken into and her six panties and several others belonging to her grand-daughter.
I zeroed in on Muturi after a neighbour told me he had spotted him on the material day hiding behind my house and he appeared not at ease. When we asked him, he disclosed that he stole them as directed by the woman of this home,” Muthoni said.
Locals are living in fear as they suspect the stolen underwear might be used in witchcraft or in brewing of illicit brews to increase their potency and make sure that consumers get hooked to the brews as some panties are stolen after they are worn and before they are washed by their owners. “We suspect they are taken to witches and wizards to cast spells on the victims to bring diseases, disintegration in families and disunity among couples,” a resident said.
Another victim, Magdalene Waithera, who is a daughter-in-law to Gachoki said her panties were also recovered at the home. “I first noted one of my panties was missing and gathered courage to ask my children if they had seen it or whether I had removed it from the clothing line alongside their clothes but they said they had not seen it. “It was after the news leaked that I stormed my mother-in-law’s house and found four of my panties,” she said. Gachoki, however, denied she had hired Muturi to steal the underwear even as she failed to explain how the garments found their way to her house.
“I suspect the inner garments were stolen by my grandson who has an unbecoming behavior as during the time, he had stolen KSh 3,000. As far as I am concerned, I have no role to play in this but I admit the items were recovered from my house. I am sure he is the one who stole them and hid them in my house,” she said in defense. The suspect is also an elder at a local church and a member of Nyumba Kumi. Githuuri Sub-location assistant chief Justus Mwangi Mukera accompanied by administration police officers rushed to the home fearing the crowd might take the law into their hands and attack the duo. The women who had lost their panties later went to record statements at Kabuta police patrol base located a few kilometers away with the suspects in tow.