Francis Nyaruri

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Local or Foreign:

Nyaruri, a reporter for the private Weekly Citizen who wrote under the name Mong’are Mokua, went missing on January 15, according to local journalists and relatives. His decapitated body was found two weeks later, on January 29, in the Kodera Forest in western Nyanza province. His hands were bound, and marks were found on his back.

His wife, Josephine Kwamboka, identified him at Kisii Hospital.

Nyaruri had left his residence in Nyamira at about 7:30 a.m. on January 15 to travel about 20 miles (30 kilometers) to Kisii to purchase construction materials, local journalists reported. Kwamboka told reporters that she spoke with her husband at around 11 a.m. that day, but did not hear from him again.

According to the Weekly Citizen, Nyaruri had written stories accusing top police officers of fraud in a construction project. Local journalists told CPJ that officers had threatened him in response to the articles.

Two suspects were taken into police custody in May but were later released without explanation, according to a local journalist.

Three local journalists who interviewed Robert Natwoli, the chief investigative officer, said they were told Nyaruri was killed on orders of high-ranking officers in Nyanza province. Andrew Mandi, a lawyer for the Nyaruri family, told CPJ that he had spoken with the two suspects and had reached the same conclusion.

Fearing reprisals from police, Mandi and Natwoli went into hiding in June, local journalists told CPJ. 

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