A 36-year-old man, Daniel Mutiria Cece, who worked at a metal-welding workshop in Marimanti town, was stabbed four times on the stomach and chest by his friend Muriungi Kiyogere, 35, on Sunday night at around 11pm over a meal of termites.
Confirming the incident, Tharaka-South Police Commander, Kiprop Rutto, said after committing the shocking crime, the suspect surrendered himself to Marimanti Police Station as irate area residents bayed for his blood.
“The suspect escaped the wrath of the villagers and surrendered at the station where he confessed stabbing the deceased,” said Mr.Rutto.
The suspect was immediately locked up as police officers rushed to the scene where they found the victim’s lifeless body lying on a pool of blood. The body was taken Chuka County Referral Hospital mortuary.
Mr. Rutto said according to initial investigations, a disagreement arose after the deceased found the suspect picking termites at the door of his room and demanded that he surrenders the insects, which he claimed belonged to him.
A fist fight broke out between the two, before the suspect, ran to his room and came out with a knife with which he stabbed the victim four times.
The victim died on the spot.
“We are looking forward to arraigning the suspect in a Marimanti court tomorrow (on Tuesday) for murder charges,” Rutto said.
According to eye witnesses, the suspect and the victim are longtime friends who had to end Mashujaa Day drinking liquor together.
“We are shocked by this incident because we have never witnessed such animosity in this area before,” said Mr. Jane Muthoni, a resident of the area.
She said many residents peacefully pick termites for a meal during the rainy season and they have never witnessed any other disagreement because the insects do not belong to anybody.
Meanwhile, Mr. Jacob M’Chabari, a Njuri Ncheke elder, said it is a taboo for circumcised men Ameru to eat termites.
He added that it’s a big shame for a man to kill another because of the insects that are only allowed to be eaten by children and women.