Tears as families collect bodies of post-election violence victims

Serah Owino (right), wife of Kennedy Owino who was killed during post-election chaos on November 17. Relatives of those killed during the violence Thursdaycollected the bodies for burial from City Mortuary. NASA leader Raila Odinga gave each family Sh50,000. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]
A white coffin bearing the remains of seven-year-old Geoffrey Mutinda was conspicuous as families picked bodies of their loved ones from the City Mortuary.

A bullet felled Geoffrey as he played on a balcony at his parents' rented flat in Nairobi's Pipeline on November 28, when police clashed with supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga.

His grief stricken parents could not gather the courage to view his body as families of victims gathered at the facility.

Only the family spokesman Patrick Mutinda, Geoffrey's grandfather, could speak. And when he spoke, he demanded answers.

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“Here lies my grandson. This was the son of my daughter. He was too young to know politics.

"Why did he have to die? The Government has a capacity to investigate and tell us who the killer(s) are,” Mutinda said.

Denied wrongdoing

Although police, through Nairobi Police Commandant Japheth Koome had denied any wrongdoing, the family alleged it was a police bullet that ended young Geoffrey's life.

“The bullet that killed the boy unfortunately hit another woman.

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"An operation has been done and it is a police bullet. The Government should now identify the killer cop,” he said amid tears.

Geoffrey, who will be buried in Mwala in Machakos County at the weekend, was among 16 others killed during the clashes between opposition supporters and police, and whose bodies were collected Thursday. Eleven were at City, three at Chiromo and two at the Kenyatta National Hospital mortuaries.

Ten of those killed will be buried in Siaya while Machakos, Kisumu and Homa Bay counties will bury two victims each.

Celestine Apondi narrated how her sister Josephine Achieng, 25, was killed in Kibera when National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders led by Siaya Senator James Orengo visited the area to condole with families affected by the clashes between police and opposition backers.

And for Willis Ouma, the loss of his elder brother was double tragedy to the family since his brother was a widower. He has left his two children total orphans.

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“My brother was brutally murdered. He had a deep cut after he was accosted by a group of youths, who after attacking him, dropped him from a flyover along Outer Ring Road,” he said.

NASA leader Raila Odinga, who joined the families at City Mortuary, demanded a formal apology from the Government and compensation to affected families.

“Lazima serikali iombe msamaha na kutoa fidia kwa familia (The Government must apologise and compensate the bereaved," he said.

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post-election violenceCity MortuaryNASARaila Odinga