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We learnt of Mwenda death on media, says family of slain litigant

The family of slain litigant Josephat Mwenda were not officially informed of their kin’s death and only learnt through the media on Monday. The family members said they did not know of his abduction on June 23 until 12 days later after his body was found.

Mwenda was killed alongside his lawyer Willie Kimani and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri and their bodies dumped in Ol Donyo Sabuk River in Machakos county. Mwenda’s uncle, Mbiiri Makembo, told journalists at their home in Nthaara village, Tharaka Nithi constituency that he heard the news on radio.

He contacted a relative living in Nairobi, who confirmed the tragic news. Mwenda’s sister, Judith Karimi, said her brother had informed them that his life was in danger after a police officer shot him on the hand while arresting him.

He also informed them that he had sued the said officer and the case was ongoing. “We never expected the matter could lead to his death since it was already in court,” said a crestfallen Karimi.

He was brought up by his relatives after his single mother died while he was young. The family described Mwenda as “a fighter and hardworking man who never gave up on life”.

He dropped out of school in Form Two due to lack of fees and relocated to Nairobi where he worked as a boda boda operator until his death.

“He worked hard to feed his wife and daughter whom he lived with in the city,”said Karimi. The family is now calling on the government to speed up the investigation into the killings to ensure justice prevails. They also took issue with the police, who have been linked to the trio’s killing.

“These are the same officers whom we expect to protect us but instead they have turned into killers,” said Makembo. Local leaders led by Tharaka Nithi Governor Samuel Ragwa have condemned the killings. – KNA

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