Police are investigating the circumstances under which a father of two arrested in connection with a Sh600 debt died in custody.
They are also trying to determine how Mr Fredrick Mburu, 32, ended up in the cells.
Mr Mburu was arrested by officers attached to Kasarani Police Station on Friday over the Sh600 he owed Nawa Auto Spares shop based at Roysambu.
According to the dead man’s family, Mr Mburu and the shop owner had agreed on the repayment schedule. The initial debt was Sh3,600. Mr Mburu, a technician, had paid Sh3,000.
Kasarani police chief Augustine Nthumbi on Wednesday said Mr Mburu was arrested after the matter was reported to the station. However, he could not explain how police were involved in what appeared to be a civil matter as the complainant only wanted the balance cleared.
It was not immediately established if Mr Mburu, nicknamed Gathagu, had deliberately refused to pay the balance.
His wife, Leah Njeri, said she had asked the police boss to release her husband but was told she had to part with a Sh10,000 bail.
“I told them I could only get Sh5,000 but they refused to listen,” she said, adding that she took the money to the shop owner and pleaded with her to drop the matter.
The shop owner, only identified as Nancy, also refused to take the money.
The family claims Mr Mburu was poisoned. Mr Martin Ndung’u, a friend and colleague, said there was a verbal confrontation between Mr Mburu and the creditor a few days ago.
“I was there when Nancy came to ask for the money. She insulted him. That is when Mburu told her he would only pay if she addressed him with respect,” Mr Ndun’gu said.
The businesswoman went into hiding on Wednesday after mechanics stormed her shop and threatened to burn it.
The Occurrence Book (No 25/20/7/2014) shows Mr Mburu was held at Kasarani Police Station for obtaining money through pretence. “While in the cell, he started complaining of stomach pain and collapsed after vomiting blood,” the Occurrence Book report adds.
The entry also states that Mr Mburu was taken to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival but sources told the Nation that never happened. Mr Mburu died on Saturday at around 5.20am.