Diaspora: Kenyan Sought for Murder in Newzealand

Lydia Munene: In critical condition

Lydia Munene: In critical condition

Moves to have a Kenyan man suspected of the slaying of a fellow countryman in Christ church brought back to New Zealand broadened today as police named the victim. He was Stephen Mwangi Maina, 38, a close friend of Lydiah Muthoni Munene, 34, who was found badly injured in a dwelling in suburban Avonhead on Monday night. She was covered by a blanket in a bedroom of the house while Mr Maina was found dead on a bed in the same room.

Ms Munene’s estranged husband, Samuel Ngumo Njuguna, 39, flew out of New Zealand at the weekend, headed for Kenya. He boarded a Sunday morning flight from Auckland International Airport and is understood to have arrived in Kenya on Tuesday morning.

Police have alerted Interpol and Kenyan police in an effort to track him down. Christchurch police today contacted officials at Kenya’s High Commission in Canberra and also began talking to the Crown Law Office in Wellington, discussing possible extradition once Mr Njuguna is located.

New Zealand has no extradition treaty with Kenya but some media speculated today that Commonwealth treaties might mean that the suspect could be returned to New Zealand if and when he is found. Detective Inspector Greg Williams, the man in charge of the case, told reporters this afternoon that talks today had focused on “procedural matters required to extradite the man back to New Zealand”.

Mrs Munene, mother of sons nine and 13, remains in an induced coma in Christ church Hospital with head injuries. Her condition late today was reported to be serious but stable. She is reported to have been in New Zealand for several years and her sons were said today to be “very tall and good looking, charming, lively, intelligent and lovely”. Child Youth and Family is now caring for them.

Mr Maina arrived in New Zealand in October last year and had been working at a meat processing plant in Ashburton. Mr Williams said police contacted the mother of the dead man in Kenya and spoke with his brother. Mr Maina was the third son the mother had lost, Mr Williams said.

Mr Williams added police continued to search for a weapon but did not specify what it was. He declined to speculate on the relationship between the dead man and the injured woman and would not say if others were involved Mr Williams said it was unclear whether the relationship between the woman and the dead man had been beyond a friendship. Police, called in by neighbours, found Mr Maina and Ms Munene on Monday night but police have said the victims might have been attacked as early as Friday night.

Mr Williams said police thought the children were removed by their father from the Burrows Place house where they lived with their mother sometime early on Saturday morning between midnight and 6am. “It appears that this is also the likely time the two people were attacked in the house.” Mr Njuguna later dropped off his sons at a friend’s house


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