Devastated Family Of Murdered Teenager Appeal For Witnesses

South Thames College student Matthew Kitandwe was stabbed

Two weeks on from the murder of 18-year-old Matthew Kitandwe in Wayford Street, his devastated family have urged any witnesses to come forward and speak to police.

Promising footballer Matthew was stabbed to death in the communal stairwell of a block of flats in Battersea on Tuesday, 21 June.

His mother Rose, said, "My son Matthew, you will be greatly missed. You were my best friend and the house feels empty without you. It is a traumatic time for all the family. You were much loved by everyone and have left a very big gap to fill. Please, please could anyone with any information contact the police, as we don’t want any other family to go through this."

Matthew Kitandwe
A young Matthew with his mother, Rose

Matthew's uncle James, added, "Matthew was an excellent sportsman, who represented Wandsworth borough in athletics, Uganda U-17s in football and had recently been signed by Colliers Wood F.C. He was very popular, creating enduring friendships with everyone he came across and cared deeply for friends and family. He was funny with a mischievous sense of humour and, curious to know more about his family’s background and culture, went to Uganda for 18 months. He is so greatly missed."

A murder investigation was launched after police were called by the London Ambulance Service at 4.15pm on Tuesday, 21 June, to the block of flats on Wayford Street to reports of a man stabbed. 

Matthew, a student at South Thames College, was pronounced dead at the scene at about 5pm. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as stab injuries.

Detectives are appealing for the first time for any information about two sightings they believe could prove vital to the inquiry. The first relates to a small, light coloured vehicle which was seen parked directly outside the block of flats in Wayford Street where Matthew was killed, and a group of young men who were standing by that car and the flats at around 4pm.

The second sighting relates to another vehicle - a black hatchback - that was seen driving four times up and down Cabul Road, which adjoins Wayford Street, at approximately 4pm. On the fourth occasion the vehicle drove past the junction with Wayford Street and one of the youths from the group that had been standing outside the block of flats, walked over to car and got in before it drove off. 

Officers investigating the murder are also continuing to appeal for any witnesses who were present in and around Wayford Street in the hours leading up to the fatal stabbing.

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Price, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said: "Two weeks on, we are still no nearer to finding a motive as to why Matthew was attacked. So far we have found no evidence to suggest that this young man was affiliated to gangs or to any other type of crime.

"I am extremely keen to speak to anyone who can give us any information about these new sightings by witnesses of the two vehicles, or the group of young men, seen by the scene of the crime around the same time as Matthew was killed.

"If you know anyone who was in this group, or who was in either the light-coloured car outside the flats in Wayford Street, or the black hatchback seen driving up and down Cabul Road, please get in touch. “

A reward of £10,000 is being offered by the independent charity Crimestoppers for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Matthew's murder.

Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8721 5054 or police via 101. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers via 0800 555 111 if they wish to remain anonymous and qualify for the reward. 

On Thursday, 23 June, an 18-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder. He has since been bailed to a date in August. 

On Monday, 27 June, a 16-year old was arrested on suspicion of murder. He has since been bailed to a date in July.

July 7, 2016


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Matthew Kitandwe
Matthew Kitandwe was murdered in Wayford Street