Sick baby and parents escape death linked to police trap

NATIONAL |

Yvonne Mueke with her husband Seth Muendo and two-year-old daughter. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

On August 27, Seth Mwendo, his wife Yvonne Mueke, and their two-year-old daughter were riding home at around 2am from St John’s hospital in Githurai, where they had been for at least seven hours.

During their midnight trip, somebody threw a metallic rod in the spokes of the motorcycle's wheels. The three were involved in a serious accident that has now been linked to known police officers attached to Githurai 44 post on patrol.

When The Standard visited the family yesterday, fear was written on their faces as they recollected their near brush with death. The mother was clutching onto her baby who was also frighteningly holding onto her mother. 

On the material day, the child had been vomiting with a bout of diarrhea until 5pm when the mother, who is a housewife, took her to St John’s hospital which is about a kilometre away from home.

“Some tests were done on her and she was put on a drip until around 12am when we were discharged. We were even given a letter explaining why we were outside past curfew hours, in case we were flagged by police officers on patrol at night,” Mwendo said.

“Since it was late, I called a boda boda rider to pick us. I was seated at the back while my wife was holding the child next to the rider,” he recalls.

Injuries Yvonne Mueke and Seth Muendo sustained. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Mwendo says shortly after they passed Githurai 44 police post, an officer who was hiding behind the vegetable stalls emerged and waved them down before he threw a metallic rod through the front wheel sending them sprawling on the ground.

“While we were still on the ground, about four police officers emerged while pointing guns at us but stepped back upon hearing a waling child. At the time, I was bleeding from the knees and wrists. My wife too was hurt,” he recounts. 

The rider was escorted to the station as the family was ordered back to the hospital for treatment.

“Our wounds were dressed and we passed by the police post around 3am where the police officers took our details but they didn’t tell us anything pertaining to the incident, not even the OB number.”

The following day, the parents became worried that their child had not uttered a word since the accident. A scan was performed and fortunately, no serious injuries were detected.

What is troubling the couple is that their visits to the station to get a P3 form have no borne any fruit, a week after the accident.

Yvonne Mueke's knee injuries. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

“I went to the station on September 1, and I was told to wait for two hours and was later told that the inspector is away until September 7, and he is the only one who can handle our case,” he stated.

“My wife accompanied the rider Peter Mwangi on September 2 to the police post only to be dismissed,” said Mwendo, adding that the police told them that the case against the rider was that he had attempted to hit an officer that night and was on the run.

The family says they have shared the case with IPOA via email but are still seeking justice, more so, for their child who is still shaken.

According to the boda boda riders within Githurai 44, some officers from Githurai Police Post hide in stalls along the stretch that cuts through the estate all the way to Kamiti Road so as to trip some operators at night using metallic rods and bars.

“We lost one of us who underwent a similar ordeal. The officers ask for bribes when they impound motorbikes that are operating during curfews even with genuine reasons like picking someone from or taking to the hospital,” Mwangi, who was with family on that night, said.

Following several complaints over the use of the rods on the stretch, the riders through their leadership met area OCS about a month ago where the issue was discussed.

Seth Muendo's knee injury. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

At the police post, we were informed that the rider had gone underground after attempting to knock down a police officer who had flagged him down. Even though, the rider had shared his ordeal at their stage and outside the police post.

It was further alleged that the rider did not have a valid insurance or a logbook to prove ownership, thus his bike was impounded.

Further, Kasarani police boss Peter Mwanzo has warned the riders against carrying more than two passengers.

“The rider who was carrying the family made a U-turn when he spotted police officers ahead and he lost control leading to the accident. At the time he was carrying three people which was against the law,” Mwanzo told The Standard.

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