Police on Thursday arrested three men shortly after they had attended the burial of the suspected teenage gangster Claire Njoki Kiboi.
Detectives raided the 18-year-old girl's home in Murang’a an hour after her tension-filled burial and arrested three men as mourners watched.
The three were identified as Samuel Kiboi, Samuel Maramu and Amos Ngaire from Kayole, who are relatives of Kiboi. One is her in-law and the others her cousins.
According to the wife of one of those arrested, the officers armed with pistols asked them to lie down.
“They attacked and harassed us, claiming that they were looking for criminals. We had come to bury our loved one, but they have taken away my husband,” she said.
The handful of mourners at Kambirwa village, Murang'a County during the burial of a suspected female gangster gunned down by police. PHOTO | GRACE GITAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP
According to the mourners, the police took the three in different vehicles without informing family members where they were taking them. But Murang'a East's Director of Criminal Investigations, Japhet Maingi, said he was not aware of such an operation in the area.
“I was attending a public gathering in Kahuro. I did not know about the burial,” he said.
Ms Kiboi’s funeral was marked with tension as presence of plainclothes police officers and youths from Kayole created an environment not normally seen in the quiet Kambirwa village in Kiharu constituency.
There was little conversation among the mourners and most opted to interact with only those they knew. During the service, only the area assistant chief and her grandmother spoke.
The family did not print funeral programmes neither did they give tributes.
Local preachers presiding over the funeral did not even introduce her mother or her siblings.
Only one tent was pitched in the compound, with less than 50 plastic chairs available.
No one was allowed to take photos using a camera as the family had asked the media to keep off.
Claire Njoki Kobia was gunned down alongside her four accomplices in Kayole, Nairobi on May 11, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY
“Most of her friends were scared that they would be arrested if they showed up for the burial. They only visited the city mortuary in the morning,” said a friend. According to a former classmate, the teenager dropped out of school in 2013 after her principal punished her.
Ms Kiboi quit secondary school in 2013, months after she had joined Form One at Gikindu Secondary School in Murang’a.
She discontinued her education and moved to Nairobi to live with her mother in Kayole, Nairobi.
When the police officers arrived in Chokaa where crime had been reported, the four suspects including Claire attempted to escape.
The officers fired in the air, ordering them to surrender, but two of them who had pistols began firing back, according to the police.
The woman and a man who were shooting at the police were killed while the other two escaped on foot.
The dead woman was still clutching a Beretta pistol, which had six rounds of ammunition, police said.
At the time of her death, the teenager had moved out of her mother’s house and was living with her boyfriend suspected to be a notorious gangster.
Neighbours who spoke to the Nation said the young woman often visited her grandmother in Kambirwa village where she lived before moving to Nairobi.
Police officers were trailing a gang of four, all male except for her, when they shot her and a colleague.