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Sentencing of Willie Kimani’s killers offered us some relief, wife says


Tuesday, 7th February 2023


The guilty verdict and subsequent sentencing of the four convicts behind the death of human rights lawyer Willie Kimani came as a relief for his wife and offered some form of closure into the matter.


Narrating the ordeal to NTV’s Olive Burrows on Monday, Hannah Kimani spoke about the impact her husband’s death has had on her family’s life.


According to her, last week’s sentencing against Fredrick Ole Leliman, Stephen Lelei, Sylvia Wanjiku and Peter Ngugi was a much-needed end to the years-long case.


Ole Leliman was sentenced to death while the three others were sentenced to prison terms of between 20 and 30 years.


“It felt very good. It was like a relief and personally it gave me peace of mind in knowing that Willie Kimani’s death was not in vain. And also, it will help me find closure. Personally, I really got to know what happened that day. That helped a lot in the healing process.” said Hannah.


“For me, knowing the truth made me feel much better because I had so many questions but no one could answer those questions. Even in as much as I could ask IJM for answers, they could not fully give me answers of what happened that day. It really helped me to find closure in knowing how Willie died. Although it was very painful, at least I was able to deal with it,” she added.


Hannah further narrated how the death of her husband had affected her children.


She said her hardest moments had been the challenges she encounters when pressed for answers by her sons Castro Kimani and Patterson Kimani.


At the time of Willie’s cruel death, Castro was four years old while Patterson was nine months old.


“For the second born, he has no memory of the dad, but if you show him a photo he will tell you ‘this is dad’. But for Castro, he asks questions like ‘so what happened?’. Then you explain in a language he understands. You cannot go too much into details, but you just explain in a language he can be able to comprehend,” said Hannah.


Hannah also used the opportunity to acknowledge the support she received from friends and human rights defenders who amplified the calls for justice against Willie’s killers.


She noted that the period after he was confirmed dead was very trying for her family, but the support they received eased a little of that grief.


“When Willie passed on, we received a lot of support, we had someone who could constantly call to check we are alright,” she said.



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