A sombre mood engulfed Kiutine market in Meru County as a mother and her three children who were burnt to death in a dawn fire last week were being laid to rest.
Hundreds of mourners who attended the burial of Ms Seberina Maiti, Abundant Mutharimi, 11, five-year old Peace Mwende and one-year-old Precious Wendo called on the police to quickly investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.
Their charred remains were found in smouldering ruins at 4am as their father, a pastor with the Revival City centre, was away on a prayer and fasting mission in neighbouring Isiolo County.
Ms Eunice Mukiri, a neighbour who first spotted the fire, said the mother died while holding her two youngest children near a bed, while Mutharimi had collapsed near the door.
Led by Igembe Central MP Kubai Kiringo, the mourners expressed concerns that there were constant questionable fires in the area, many of which remained unresolved and called for serious investigations.
He said there could have been a person or a group lighting the fires with a mission to cause havoc in the area that neighbours Meru National Park.
“There is something fishy happening here. If there is someone who is hell-bent on causing misery among Kiutine residents, you will not go far and you will be arrested,” he said.
Area acting Chief John Maraki said two suspects had been arrested and are in custody helping police with investigations while others are being sought.
He conceded that the numerous mysterious fires had left security agencies scratching their heads and called on residents to provide information that could help resolve the criminal activities.
“We as government are doing the best we can. We have arrested two suspects and we are pursuing others who are their close allies. There have been many fires and when you ask, you are told there is no source; there must always be a source. A fire cannot originate from nowhere,” said Mr Maraki.
Mourners also called for financial support for Pastor Jediel Munoru so that he could restart his life with his two surviving sons who are in secondary school.
Tears flowed freely as the four caskets were paraded in the dusty market. Local pastors said the fact that most of the fires were started around 4am was curious.
Dr Martin Kimathi called on the county government to help the family from its emergency kitty and provide a fire engine to the area so as to help combat such disasters.
“We are also appealing to the security agencies, especially the DCI, to speed up investigations into the arson so that they (arsonists) face the law so that the family finds justice,” he said.
A few days after the incident, the clergyman said he had forgiven the perpetrators of the heinous act.
“I am still puzzled over what happened. I told the police that I have no information or suspect. I leave everything to God because I know nothing bigger than Him. What I am left with is look upon the Lord and see what He will do,” said pastor Munoru.
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