The grief-stricken residents and family members of a 60-year-old man who took his own life on a somber Saturday in the quiet village of Mikima-ini in Kirinyaga’s Mwea-east sub-county are struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
The lifeless body of Stephen Muchiri, a 60-year-old church leader, was discovered inside a dimly lit toilet within a local private school.
His brother, Onesmus Muthee Mugo, still trembles with shock when recounting the grim discovery.
“I was utterly taken aback when the devastating news arrived – that my brother Muchiri, a respected church leader, had taken his own life in the most unexpected of places, the secluded toilets of a private school,” Muthee recounted with a heavy heart.
The horrifying scene was even more gruesome. Muchiri’s lifeless body was suspended from a new, ominous rope tied to the toilet’s fragile roofing, a haunting image etched in the minds of all who bore witness.
It was in a cruel twist of fate that, before his tragic end, Muchiri had informed his unsuspecting wife of an ordinary chore.
He told her that he was going to tether their cows near the vicinity of the very private school where his lifeless body would be discovered.
Little did she know that this ordinary task was a mere trick, concealing the heart-wrenching truth. He was going to take his own life.
The pain runs deeper in Kirinyaga, as residents have found themselves increasingly familiar with the harrowing news of suicides in the region.
On that bleak Saturday alone, two individuals chose to end their lives in Mururi-ini village in Ndia subcounty and Githioro village in Kirinyaga central.
In the first tragedy, a 50-year-old man, Assistant Chief Justus Mwai, took his own life by hanging from a tree, leaving no farewell notes behind.
His family revealed that this wasn’t the first time, as he had previously attempted suicide, only to be saved by a concerned family member.
In the second incident, a 47-year-old man found solace in a mango tree in the Mururi-ini village in Ndia.
He had woken up at an unholy hour, around 1 a.m., and headed to his employer’s farm to milk the cows. However, he was turned away and told to wait until morning.
When his employer later discovered him lifeless, hanging from the mango tree in his compound, he promptly contacted the authorities.
The distraught residents of Kirinyaga now raise their voices in despair, beseeching church leaders, the National government, and the county government to intervene and help stem this tragic tide of suicide cases that has cast a dark shadow over their community.