The mother of a 27-year-old man killed by a police officer in Githurai has requested the court not to sentence her son’s killer to death.
Purity Wanjiku told High Court judge James Wakiaga that she did not believe in the ‘eye-for-an-eye’ system of justice.
The policeman, Titus Musila alias Katitu, was convicted for murdering Kenneth Kimani in 2013.
Mr Kimani died of gunshot wounds. His brother was killed the following year in what the mother believes was a second police shooting.
Ms Wanjiku told the court that she did not wish death on her son’s killer but wanted him jailed instead.
“I am not a believer in the principle of an eye for an eye and I do not believe in the death sentence. I therefore urge this court to sentence the accused to the maximum custodial sentence allowed by law,” she said.
The policeman’s conviction has elicited mixed reactions in Githurai, where he was based.
According to a probation report presented in court, a number of residents praised the 45-year-old policeman, who they fondly nicknamed Katitu for his singing prowess, as a good man who managed to tame ruthless criminals in the area.
But Kimani’s family has denied that their son was a criminal. In the probation report, his mother painted him as a charming young man, pious and so reliable that he ran her banking errands.
She said her son was a disciplined football player.
“I suffered even more grief because of the stunning false accusations against my son by the accused (who said) that my son was a well-known thief. My son was not a criminal and he had never been convicted of any crimes in any court in Kenya,” said Wanjiku.
But in the same probation report, some estate residents painted Kimani as a menace, saying he was a known criminal notorious for mugging them both day and night.
In the report, one of Kimani’s former classmates at Kenyatta University Primary School described how he had robbed him of his shoes while he waited to board a bus at the Githurai bus terminus.
“All those who were interviewed said they would want the offender posted back to Githurai to not only fight crime but also ensure public safety,” the report filed by probation officer P. Alambo read.
Among those who spoke favourably of Katitu in the report were business people, boda boda riders, shoe shiners, vegetable vendors, matatu drivers and touts.
In the same report, Musila’s family said the father of four was their only source of livelihood and had not been involved in any crime since his childhood.
The judge was told that Musila’s wife had deserted him after the shooting.
“The offender’s first-born son, who completed Form Four last year, is acting as the guardian of the other children, who are all school-going. The absence of both parents, for the whereabouts of the wife are unknown, has aggravated the hopelessness of these children,” the judge heard.
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) also told the court that Musila had not been involved in any kind of misconduct before.
“Treat this as a first offender,” said IPOA.