20 August 2017

Kenya: County to Sue Police Over Baby Pendo's Death

Photo: Capital FM
Samantha Pendo's father, Joseph Abanja, is consoled by Kisumu Governor-elect Anyang’ Nyong’o.

The Kisumu County government will sue the National Police Service over the death of a six-month old baby.

Governor-elect Anyang' Nyong'o on Sunday said that together with the Law Society of Kenya, they will seek legal redress against the police following the incident and many others.

"Seven deaths have been reported so far, including Pendo's. Four missing persons reported who are not part of the dead.

"Six cases of sexual molestation were reported: four occurred in Nyalenda and two in Manyatta," he said at a press conference at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground in Kisumu, which was attended by former Kisumu deputy governor Ruth Odinga and Kisumu Central MP-elect Fred Ouda.


Samantha Pendo's mother Lancer Achieng said her child was hit by a police officer during an operation to quell demonstrations that had been precipitated by disputed presidential election results.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati, on August 11, had announced President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner to the dismay of his opponent's, Mr Raila Odinga, supporters.


Police officers were dispatched to contain the situation. They conducted a door-to-door operation.

Mr Joseph Abanja, the father, said: "Police were banging doors and storming into houses fishing out protesters."


His wife added that "It all started at 1am. I was carrying the baby in my arms when they beat me up and they hit baby Samantha on the head with a club."

She was taken to Aga Khan Hospital but died four days later on August 15.

Prof Nyong'o added that so far 171 cases of police brutality have been reported in Kisumu.


LSK Kisumu Chapter chairman Sam Onyango said they are engaging the parents to give them all the details regarding the case.

Mr Onyango said the agency will work with the governor-elect and their Nairobi office on the Pendo case and other extra-judicial killings related cases.

"We are also waiting for a detailed report from IPOA so that we can kick-start the legal redress process," Mr Onyango said.


However, police have dismissed the claims.

"The National Police Service takes great exception to untruthful allegations made by some Nasa politicians to the effect that the Police are responsible for killing 100 persons and hiding the corpses in body bags.

"....these allegations are unfounded and have no basis in fact and are clearly aimed at escalating tensions in the country," the statement uploaded on the NPS Facebook page on August 14 read.


The governor-elect claimed he has bullet cartridges from AK47 rifles and a pistol and footage of police breaking into homes.

Prof Nyong'o attributed the statistics to the Disaster Management and Rescue Centre progress report as of August 19.

He set up the team on August 16 in partnership with Champions of Peace and Kenya Human Rights Commission.


And it carries out its activities at Jomo Kenyatta Sports Ground in Kisumu, where victims of police brutality were reporting their cases.

The victims can also report through a toll free hotline (0800724190) managed by Champions of Peace.

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