A young man from Taita Taveta County, Mombasa in Kenya has been arrested after he killed his 67-year-old father for failing to pay his mother’s dowry.
According to Wundanyi OCPD, Benjamin Muhia, he told Nairobi News that the deceased, Wilmont Mwawasi, was beaten to death by his son after a short argument over unpaid dowry to his mother who died 12 year’s ago.
“We have arrested the suspect and we intend to arraign him in court after investigations are completed,” Mr. Muhia said.
The OCPD said the suspect killed his father using a hollow metal bar after he (father) failed to explain why he had not honoured their tradition even after pleading with the father several times to do so.
“From our investigations, we have found that the quarrels began when the suspect asked his father why he had not paid the dowry, but investigations are still ongoing to unearth more information,” he said
Mr. Muhia said the body of the father of seven was transported to Wesu Sub-county hospital mortuary awaiting postmortem.
Investigating Officer Christopher Langat and Wundanyi DCIO Eunice Maina, who visited the crime scene, said the murder weapon has been recovered from the suspect.
“We have recovered the metal bar we suspect was used to commit the crime, but we are still looking for more details to determine the motive of the murder,” Inspector Langat said.
The Investigating officer said that preliminary investigations indicate that the suspect claimed that his father had brought bad omen to their family after failing to pay thier late mother’s dowry.
“The family of the late mother had been putting pressure on the deceased to pay dowry, so when the son asked his deceased father about it, he (deceased) charged towards him (son) and all hell broke loose,” the officer said.
Mrs. Maina said that they found the deceased’s body lying in a pool of blood inside their house where the incident happened.
“The metal bar inflicted injuries on his hands meaning he was blocking himself from the beatings from his son. The blunt object can be said to have caused his death,” she said, adding that the recovered murder weapon will be subjected to ballistic analysis.
Ms. Salome Mshai, the deceased’s daughter, who witnessed the killing said the 67-year-old had started the quarrel.
“He came home drunk and when my brother asked him about the dowry, he charged towards him, slapped and kicked him. I tried to separate them but my father insisted on disciplining him,” she said.
She said that it was after 30 minutes of physical fight that her father attacked his brother with the metal bar first but luckily for him, he was able to get hold of the weapon and repeatedly hit the deceased in the head.
“The suspect managed to snatch from my father the metal bar and hit him on the head repeatedly, he bled profusely and fell down,” she said.
According to her, their father was to blame for what had happened because he was the one who picked up a fight when he was softly asked what he was thinking about the dowry.
She said consequences of unpaid dowry had started manifesting in their family as his younger brothers were getting mad while some had their blessings blocked.
“In our tradition, failing to pay dowry has negative consequences. These are what we had started witnessing that forced my brother to approach him to address the issue,” she said.
The suspect is being held at Wundanyi Police Station.