Widow of man killed by OCS now seeks compensation, more probe

Former Ruaraka OCS Nahashon Mutua in the dock at Milimani Law courts. [George Njunge, Standard]

The widow of a man killed by a senior police officer has sued the government seeking compensation.

Peninah Nkuene Kaumbuthu also wants Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai to investigate and take action against police officers who aided Chief Inspector Nahashon Mutua in killing her husband Martin Koome in October 2013.

Kaumbuthu filed the suit through the International Justice Mission (ICJ), saying she is suffering together with their children.

“Her husband was a young man with a family and was at the prime of his life and enjoyed good health. As a result of his death, the wife and his dependents have suffered pain, loss, and damage and are seeking to be compensated,” said lawyer Ruth Kihuria.

Koome was clobbered by Mutua to death at the Ruaraka Police Station. Mutua was subsequently sentenced to death after the High Court judge Stella Mutuku found him guilty of murder.

But the widow argues that Mutua did not act alone. “Mutua was aided by other officers who were complicit as his eyes, hands and feet in his endeavour to cover up the killing. The officers are known but no disciplinary action has ever been taken against them,” said Kihuria.

The lawyer submitted that they wrote to the Internal Affairs Unit of the police asking for investigations following Mutua’s conviction last year, but nothing has been done.

Kaumbuthu, in her affidavit, said when the murder trial began, she received death threats, which forced her to quit her job after being placed on witness protection.

“I was forced to relocate to a foreign place to start my life afresh and without a support system and a familiar environment. I developed anxiety disorder coupled with the psychological trauma of losing my husband and father to my children,” she said.

Although the police officer who killed her husband is behind bars waiting to be hanged, she claims, his actions still trouble her as she continues to grieve over her husband who could have been alive to help her take care of their children.

Koome was arrested on October 19, 2013 at the Baba Dogo Estate in Nairobi and detained at the Ruaraka Police Station following a domestic quarrel.

When Koome was booked, the police inspector who was in charge of the station assaulted him, leaving him with serious injuries. The next day, he was taken to a nearby clinic but because his injuries were bad, he was transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital.

When the the wife visited the hospital the following day, she found him unattended on a bench. He could not walk. His clothes were soaked in blood, the head was swollen and blood was oozing from the ears. He was groaning in pain. He died a few hours later.

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