In Kenya, a 17-year old secondary school student was on Wednesday arraigned before a local court on charges of unintentionally killing his uncle using a stone in a dispute over miraa.

Miraa or Khat is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It contains the alkaloid cathinone, a stimulant, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. Its stems and leaves are ingested by chewing.

In court, Mr Justice Francis Gikonyo directed that the Form Three student in Buuri, Meru county, be subjected to age and mental assessment.

The teenager was remanded at the Meru  Children’s Remand Home until March 12, 2020 when he will answer to charges of allegedly killing his uncle, Mr Wilfred Kithinji.

It is alleged that the student, who was on his way to draw water from community tank, was incensed by his uncle’s accusation that he was heading to steal his miraa.

The deceased is said to have confronted his nephew and pursued him for a distance, prompting the student to pick a stone and hit him with it in self defence, knocking him unconscious.

Kithinji was rushed to Meru Level Five Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

The incident took place at around 1:30pm on February 20, 2020 in Karachene village, Meru county.

State Counsel Brenda Nandwa informed Justice Gikonyo that the accused was a minor and thus should not be held at the Meru GK Prison awaiting to be charged with manslaughter.

Justice Gikonyo also directed that the accused be provided with a lawyer to help mount his defence.

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