Six-month-old baby Samantha Pendo and nine-year-old Stephanie Moraa have become the face of police brutality meted upon Kenyans following the announcement of the presidential election results on August 11.
Coincidentally, on Friday family and friends gathered for a memorial for Pendo at St Joseph Catholic Church in Kisumu while on the other corner of the country mourners laid to rest Moraa at her father’s home in Kisii. In both ceremonies the rallying call from mourners was one — justice. The mood was similar. The pain was raw. The anger was real. While baby Pendo was clobbered by police during the riots that broke out over the disputed presidential election results, Moraa, a Standard Four pupil at Mathare Primary School was killed in the violence that rocked Mathare after the announcement of the presidential election results.
At baby Pendo’s memorial, her parents Lensa Achieng’ and Joseph Oloo recalled fond memories with their baby.
“For us the late was a source of joy in our family with her smiles, giggles and innocent child’s curiosity,” said Amos Pambo who read her eulogy. As she mourned her baby, the mother recalled how she had suffered several miscarriages before baby Pendo came. She was a miracle.
Pendo is now survived by her elder sister eight-year-old Moesha Mitchelle. The burial was attended by area politicians, friends, family and area residents.
In memory of Baby Pendo, Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, also in attendance, declared intent to table a motion to make February 8 a human rights holiday, in memory of victims of police brutality.
“As the executive we will generate a motion to pass and legislate February 8 the day that the late Samantha saw the light to mark and remember all the victims of police brutality in Kisumu,” Nyong’o said. Pendo will be laid to rest today in Konjra village Ugenya. Just like in Kisumu, the mood was equally sombre as young Moraa was given her final send off at her father’s home in Isencha, Kitutu Chache North Kisii County.
The family said the child was playing on the balcony of their house when she was hit in the chest by a police bullet. The family spokesman Pastor Nelson Gichana demanded for justice.
“We want justice. The killing of the innocent souls in this country must come to an end. Moraa died a painful death that ought to have been avoided,” said Mr Gichana.
Moraa’s parents George and Damackline Mokaya eulogised their daughter describing her as a dedicated Christian who loved God.
“For two weeks we have been mourning the passing on of an innocent soul. Her death is a big blow to us,” said Mr Mokaya. Moraa a Seventh Day Adventist Church and a member of the Pathfinder Club was buried after a solemn sermon by Pastor Joseph Nyasani of Ruaraka Central SDA Church Nairobi.