Missing penises from the dead bodies of two murdered men have raised fears of trade in sexual organs in Kenya.
The families of the two men - 51-year-old Muchiri Mbute and 27-year-old Fancis Karanja - confirmed that both men had head injuries when found and that their genitals were missing from both of their bodies.
"My son was brutally killed. What worries me most is that his private parts could not be found," said David Muturi, Karanja's father told Daily Nation. Karanja was on his way to his employer's home on Monday night after a trip to the Difathas market, when was beaten to death.
The bodies of the men were found near a road in Kirinyaga County last week.
Mbute who was married with five children, was walking home when the killer hacked him to death. His body was discovered on 24 November, a day after the murder.
"We were really shocked when we found that the body of Mbute had genitals missing," Mbute's brother Simon Ngari said.
They were on the way to the mortuary when the family noticed that Mbute's penis was missing. Mbute's family immediately concluded that it was the deed of traffickers involved in selling human body parts: "Immediately we saw what had happened to our brother, we came to the conclusion that some people could be involved in selling human body parts," Ngari said.
There was a third murder in Kirinyaga County around the same time we well, where the victim did not have any head injuries, but was strangled with a rope, which was found around his neck. The unidentified victim however, retains his penis.
Kirinyaga County police commander Charles Ontita does not subscribe to the theory of criminals trading sexual organs and warns families against making serious allegations without proof. "Family members should be patient and stop spreading such serious claims until a post-mortem (exam) is performed on the bodies," Ontita said.
Meanwhile, villagers are living in fear of the killers hiding in the dark, waiting to jump on unsuspecting victims and steal their genitals.