Detectives in Kigumo, Muranga county have confirmed that the item perceived to be arrowroot is indeed a mortar bomb believed to have been used by the British colonial army during the Mau Mau uprising in the 1950s.
Detectives from the Forensic Bomb Disposal and Hazardous materials unit are now in possession of the 84mm mortar bomb that was discovered by a farmhand.
“The discovery of the bomb brought Ngonda village to a standstill, as bemused villagers milled around the object some claiming in the local dialect, that it was a ‘Karobosta’ i.e a missile, while others claimed that it was an overgrown arrowroot.” the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said.
According to the DCI, the villagers were perturbed by the item that they dispatched two children to the homestead of a retired military officer 3 kilometers away after failing to respond to his calls; the officer was to come and ascertain whether it was truly a ‘Karobosta’ as claimed by a majority.
Luckily, the area chief got wind of the discovery and called detectives based at Ngonda police station in Kigumo, who responded immediately.
The detectives invited experts from the Forensic Bomb Disposal and Hazardous materials unit, based at the DCI National Forensic Laboratory, who confirmed that the object was an 84mm mortar bomb.
The dangerous military ordinance was most likely left behind by the British forces at the height of the Mau Mau uprising in 1953, when sections of Mt Kenya and Aberdare forests suffered aerial bombardment, to flush out Mau Mau fighters.
The DCI Bomb experts will sympathetically detonate the bomb on Monday, May 9.