The recent murder of a Form Two student in Kitui has shocked the local community, as police investigate the circumstances surrounding his death. Syengo Nyamai, a 17-year-old student, had recently won Sh200,000 from sports betting firm Betika, after gambling on the 2023 Carabao Cup final match between Manchester United and Newcastle United.
According to his brother, Syengo had used a neighbor’s national identity card to register a Safaricom SIM card, which he used to enter the lottery. However, he did not tell his family about his winnings.
Syengo was last seen on the morning of Monday, February 27, when he left for school as usual, but he never arrived. He had spent the previous evening with two friends, who have now been detained by police, at a local shopping center watching the Carabao Cup Final. The family became alarmed when Syengo failed to return home and was not at school.
Six days later, Syengo’s body was discovered in a thicket, a few kilometers from his rural home, with his eyes gouged out, his right hand broken, and injuries to his head. Detectives are keen to establish the last people in communication with Syengo and whether the winnings had been withdrawn from his mobile line.
The scene where his body was found had motorcycle tire tracks, indicating that he may have been killed elsewhere and his body transported to the thicket on a motorbike.
Betika head of communications, Kate Arudo, said that persons under the age of 18 years are legally prohibited from betting. She added that any mobile number participating in the lotteries is duly registered as per the law, and the company has no way of verifying if it’s being used by underage persons or third parties. The police are continuing their investigation, hoping to establish the motive behind the murder and identify those responsible.