Locals want justice for slain 19 year old in Mathare

Clinton Nyaboga displays a photo of 19-year-old DJ Clabatone Mwabebe at their home in Mathare Area one, Nairobi. [Photo by Jenipher Wachie/Standard]
Mathare residents are up in arms over the killing of a teenager, allegedly by a policeman.

The residents claim Clabatone Mwabebe, 19, was shot dead by a police officer, who is known to them, on April 6. They want action taken against the policeman.

Mr Mwabebe, who was more popularly known by his nickname, Clabo, was reportedly chatting with friends while sitting on an old tyre in Kiamaiko when the policeman opened fire from across the river.

He died instantly after being shot in the head.

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Before he met his death, Clabo is said to have told his brother at around 10am that he was going to ‘Mradi’, where a group of youths ran different projects for a living. At the site were at least seven other youths who had started planting kale on a small piece of land near the river.

Charles Kariuki, a friend, said after Clabo was shot, the officer fired again and the second bullet grazed the shoulder of his other friend.

Second bullet

“He aimed again but the second bullet scratched one of our friends on the left shoulder, before we all escaped behind a building, where the officers could not see us,” Mr Kariuki said.

He described Clabo as always jovial, and said he had been listening to music from his phone before he was shot.

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Police who came to the scene said a gun and two phones were found on the body.

But a resident, whose house overlooks the crime scene, has accused the police of planting the gun on Claba.

“I was in my house when I heard two gunshots,” the resident recounted.

“Through a crack in the iron sheet wall, I saw him (shooter) place two phones on the left side and a gun on the right. I am scared this statement may put my life in danger but I had a dream and in the dream, Clabo called me ‘Min Jaduong’. I believe he wants me to help him get justice just like I would if it were any of my children,” said the resident, adding that one of the police officers poured water on the corpse and dragged the body across the river to the other side.

Residents who heard the gunshots ran to the scene and took photos of the young man with their mobile phones. In one of the photos, Clabo is seen with a black phone in his left hand.

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The residents then took to the streets demanding the officer's arrest.

Mathare MCA Jared Okoth alias Defao said he arrived at the scene before the police took away Clabo's body, and that he had only one phone contrary to the police statement that he had a gun and three phones.

Body dragged

“He was seated on the tyre when police shot him. The body was later dragged across the river to the other side as protesters had blocked the roads,” he said.

“We don’t protest when a criminal is killed even if he is our friend. We protest for justice,” said Henry Ochieng’, another witness.

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Nairobi police boss Joseph ole Tito confirmed they had received a complaint over Clabo's killing and had launched investigations.

"The incident, just like many others, is under investigation. Let the family or anyone concerned lodge a complaint over the same," he said.

The family also said they had presented their complaints to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.

When The Standard visited Mathare, Clabo's old grey shoes and a colourful knit-hat were still lying at the scene where he met his death, a swarm of flies hovering over the dried blood.

mathare killingsslain mathare manjusticeClabatone Mwabebe