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Mother refuses to bury daughter killed in police gun attack

The mother of a Mpeketoni woman who died of head injuries for which a policeman is being sought has ruled out burying the victim until action is taken against the officer.

On Sunday Mrs Mariam Njeri Njuguna said the government had no reason not to prosecute the suspect, whose actions are believed to have caused the death of 22-year-old Margaret Njeri.

In an interview with the Daily Nation on January 17, Mrs Njuguna said the policeman hit Margaret on the head with a gun, causing her fatal injuries.

The officer had aimed the gun at a boda boda rider but missed and hit Margaret, who was a passenger on the motorcycle taxi.

“We have completed the postmortem and it is now up to the government security agents to arrest the officer. They had earlier required a statement from the victim, who unfortunately died,” Mrs Njuguna said and appealed to the government to find the officer and ensure that justice is done for he deceased daughter.

“I have no reason to bury her. I have no interest. I will only bury her when the government tells me they have him,” she said as the  world marked the International Women’s Day.

ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED

She appealed to the Cabinet secretary for Interior, Mr Joseph Nkaissery, to help in ensuring that the suspect is arrested and prosecuted.

“This officer is known and I believe some of his colleagues are hiding him. Why are we being treated like there is no justice in this country? We have been with Njeri until her death. Why wasn’t he arrested then?” she asked.

“Right now I am informed he has gone into hiding. How can this happen? If the President’s car could be found in Uganda and the killers of the Kabete MP found, how hard is it to trace my daughter’s attacker?”

A lawyer for the family, Mr George Wakahiu, told the Daily Nation that Ms Njeri’s death was as a result of severe brain damage.

“The pathologist’s report said there was a severe brain damage which was caused by a blunt object on the left side (temporal region) of the head,” he said. “Now that she is dead, what we need is for the suspect to be arrested.”

According to him, once the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions receives the postmortem exam results, its officers will be ready to proceed with the case against the policeman.

If the suspect is not arrest, he said, the family would move to court to seek a warrant for his arrest so that all Kenyans will have a duty to arrest him.

HOSPITAL BILL

“Let us know who the suspect is, his identity, name, description and put it in all public places so that we have him arrested by the public,” said Mr Wakahiu.

An official with Haki Africa, a human rights NGO, said police reforms were stalling due to such cases.

“We are failing to understand why the police are moving slowly on this case, he is an officer whose records the government has records and they can track and arrest him. What we want is action taken immediately; we want justice for this family,” he said and appealed to Kenyans to help the family raise the money to foot the outstanding hospital bill that has reached Sh2.5 million.

The family has a Safaricom paybill number (317077) and has urged well-wishers to support them in raising the amount.

Ms Njeri died on Saturday at the Pandya Memorial Hospital in Mombasa where she was admitted and remained unconscious with serious head injuries after the January 17 attack.

Witnesses said she fell off the motorcycle after the policeman’s rifle hit her on the head in an attempt to stop a boda boda rider in Mpeketoni, Lamu County.