Slum chiefs on spot for rough justice
If you want a favourable judgement from a chief, be the first to report.
This is the situation in many city slums as NairobiNews found from victims accounts.
“I had a long-standing dispute with neighbours over the use of a clothes line. They teamed up and beat my wife and children, but because they reported the incident first, we were fined Sh5,000,” said 38-year-old Cosmas Waswa from Kibera.
“It was a punitive decision especially given that I earn Sh10,000 as a guard,” he added.
He believes had he being the first to report to the assistant chief, the matter would have gone his way.
Willis Ouma, 33, a Kosovo resident spent a month in police custody.
“I was not given a chance to defend myself and in the end, I parted with Sh22,000 to regain freedom,” he said.
Ouma was involved in a conflict with a neighbour over land and was arrested by police officers.
“Before the case began, we (the parties in dispute) paid Sh2,000 each, as a facilitation fee,” he said.
He claimed that despite his accuser not producing documentation, the chief and elders ruled in his favour.
Daniel kisimba, 40, from Mukuru recalled of a rough day at the chief’s office after his wife reported him for not providing for his family well.
“When I said I was having it rough economically, he would hear none of it. I was instead ordered to be depositing upkeep money with the chief every Friday for my wife to pick,” he said.
Vincent Oginga, 34, from Kiambiu said he almost hit the area chief for favouritism.
But Kiambiu chief Mrs Salome Muthomi defended the system saying it was a vital conflict resolution tool for conflicts at the grassroots.
She however admitted that some chiefs had turned the process into a money milking venture.