Kenya: Mourners Call for Justice As Teenager Is Buried in Meru

24 September 2020

A 19-year-old Form Four leaver who was allegedly beaten to death by police was buried in Antuathama Village, Meru, on Wednesday.

Hundreds of mourners, among them boda-boda riders, held a peaceful procession in Maua town, before heading to Amung'enti Catholic Church where the requiem mass for Spencer Thuranira was held.

Local leaders led by Meru County Secretary Rufus Miriti, Meru ODM chairman Jacob Munoru and Pan-Africa Climate Justice Alliance executive director Mithika Mwenda demanded speedy investigations into the teenager's death.

They said the youngster, who sat his KCSE examination last year and scored a grade B+, was travelling to Maua to buy medicine for his mother when the motorcycle he was riding on was flagged down by police officers. The police officers clobbered Spencer who died later.

A post-mortem conducted by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor indicated that Spencer died of head injuries.

"The police have changed from a police force to a police service. The police should courteously serve members of the public and not batter them," said Mr Munoru.

Mr Miriti regretted that death had taken away the life of a bright young man who aspired to be an engineer.

"We are saddened by the death and want to condemn police brutality meted out on any person," the county official said.

Dr Mwenda said they had already lodged a complaint with the IPOA and engaged the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) in a quest to seek justice for Spencer.

He also wants the underlying issues that saw boda-boda riders in Maua town hold demonstrations over the traffic boss for two days addressed so as to end animosity between police and the riders.

"The boda-boda riders have been demonstrating in search of justice. They accuse the traffic department of extorting bribes from them. Police should be accountable. This is not the first person to be killed by police. We want the person responsible to be transferred," said Dr Mwenda.

The requiem mass was led by Fr John Peter Gitonga of Amung'enti Parish, who called for responsibility among those in positions of power.

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