Catholic Activists Demand Immediate Investigation into Mysterious Killings in Kenya

Credit: CitizenGo Africa

Catholic activists that are part of an international organization have launched an online campaign to pressure the Kenyan government to investigate and provide answers to the mysterious killings in what they call “Yala Murders”. 

Since November last year, at least 30 bodies, some of people who were reported missing, have been recovered from River Yala, which is located in the Western part of Kenya. 

In a petition addressed to Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Internal Security, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, officials of CitizenGo Africa lament about the government’s silence on the menace while “every other day, more and more human remains are collected from the river.”

“It is time we got answers about the Yala Murders. Human life is sacred and the state is supposed to defend the citizenry from haphazard deprivation of the same,” CitizenGo officials say in their Wednesday, March 30 statement. 

They say the Kenyan Constitution of 2010 is “very clear on the right to life” and nobody should be deprived of it. 


CitizenGo officials further say that the leadership of the East African nation is obligated to protect the citizenry from anything depriving them of their fundamental rights.

It is high time we asked the government for answers, we need all the deaths investigated and for perpetrators to be arraigned,” say officials of the African-branch of the Hazte Oir, an ultra-conservative Spanish Catholic organization.

They ask in relation to the bodies recovered from the river, “Are these people who have been executed elsewhere and dumped in the river or are they just accidental coincidences?”

People have raised questions about the delayed investigations into the murders and the tendency to ignore missing persons reports in the country. 

Kenyan activist Boniface Mwangi who posted a Twitter thread detailing his visit to the Yala Sub County Hospital mortuary said the health facility has been receiving at least five bodies from River Yala every month since October 2021.

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Mr. Mwangi said most of the bodies “bore marks of torture, tied with ropes, polythene bags on their heads and some had deep cuts.” 

In their petition, CitizenGo Africa officials call on Kenya’s CS for Internal Security to ensure the killings are stopped “immediately”.

We hereby demand that you commence with immediate effect the deaths at Yala and stop these killings immediately,” they say. 

The Catholic activists add, “It is time we say enough is enough! The Yala River deaths need to be investigated as soon as possible.”

In January, religious leaders in Kenya said they will “set up intelligence committees to investigate the identities of the people being killed as well as their killers and push for prosecution of the suspects.”


The religious leaders also said they will also engage Inspector General in the East African nation, as well as security agencies at national, county and sub county levels, “to advocate for equitable implementation of the law.” 

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.