Delayed justice by courts has killed my brother, another in depression-Stella Muiruri
By Missing Voices Reporter
A six year murder case in court against four police officers, Frederick Leliman, Leonard Mwangi, Stephen Morogo, Sylvia Wanjiku and a civilian police informer Peter Ngugi has caused mental anguish,depression,poverty and death, Victims’ families narrated Thursday during annual commemoration of victims of police killings and enforced disappearances.
The day long ceremony started at Jeevanjee Gardens in Nairobi. It was organised by Mothers of Victims and Survivors Network, a lobby made up of mothers of victims and survivors of police brutality in conjunction with civil organisations led by the International Justice Mission-Kenya under a coalition known as Missing Voices.
Social Justice Centres Working Group among others joined the event that started with a peaceful protest around the Central Business District before setting tent at the National Museum of Kenya to commemorate the annual event.
The protest saw the organisations petition different government agencies including the police, the judiciary among others to expedite cases that have taken long in court. They also asked the police to ensure peaceful general election slated for August 9 this year.
Bena Buluma, commonly known as mama Victor is the national convenor of the Mothers’ network. She called on the police to uphold the highest level of professionalism when handling security during the election. “I lost two of my son’s during the 2017 elections because of police brutality. I may have healed but I cannot forget.” She said.
Speaking during the commemoration International Justice Mission-Kenya country director Benson Shamala,gave a shocking account of the murder of a former IJM-Kenya lawyer Willie Kimani,his client Josephat Mwenda and the lawyer’s trusted driver joseph Muiruri on June 23, 2016.
Shamala said the case against the pentagon has been in court for the last six years and the judgement is still pending.
IJM-K commemorates the three young men annually as well as other victims of police killings and enforced disappearances.
“It has been six good years since Willie Kimani,Josephat Mwenda and Joseph Muiruri went missing and their bodies found dumped in river Ol doinyo Sambuk.” Shamala said.
He said it was a heinous act that has left many hearts wounded. “Today as we come together just to commemorate, it is a reminder that we have not forgotten them and indeed we will never forget them.” Shamala noted.
Stella Muiruri,a sister to Joseph Muiruri said his family has never come to terms with the murder of his brother under the hands of security agents.
“Every time we receive a reminder to attend court or to attend this commemoration we are unable to eat food. The matter is still fresh in our minds.” She said. She painfully wished her brother who was 27 years old had left behind a baby so that her family can remember him. “He was about to marry in December the year he was killed.” She said.
She said his brother with whom she used to attend court hearing was seriously affected by Muiruri’s death and succumbed to pressure and diabetes last year.
Her another brother is suffering from depression she said was caused by the murder of their brother. “He drinks heavily and goes to sleep outside a nearby police station and always tells the police officers at the station to kill him like they did to his brother.” She said.
Invited guests including representatives from the office of the director of public prosecutions, Internal Affairs Unit and the Law Society of Kenya said they are committed to ensuring justice is delivered to victims of police killings.
“It is a process that has a long chain. Do not tire of talking about your problems. Share your thoughts so that we can serve you better.” Said Wangui Gichuhi from the office of the director of public prosecutions in charge of homicide.