Amnesty International calls for commuting of Ruth Kamande’s death sentence

Ruth Wanjiku Kamande in the dock at Milimani high court in Nairobi. She was found guilty of murdering Farid Mohammed in 2015. [George Njunge/Standard]

Amnesty International-Kenya on Friday expressed its displeasure with the decision by Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit to sentence boyfriend killer Ruth Kamande to death terming it as ‘retrogressive.’

In a statement seen by The Standard, the agency’s Executive Director Irungu Houghton noted that the mode of punishment meted on Kamande was cruel.

“We are concerned that Kenya continues to use this cruel, inhumane and outdated mode of punishment. This sentence is a blow to Kenya’s progressive record in commuting death sentences to terms of imprisonment,” read the statement in part.

The agency argued that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to warrant a death penalty.

 “There isn’t any credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime any better than other lawful punishments,” said Houghton.

Amnesty International further asked for the immediate commuting of her sentence to life imprisonment to allow for rehabilitation.

While giving her ruling, Justice Lesiit said Kamande deliberately stabbed the deceased and did not appear remorseful in court.

She also cautioned youth that it is best to walk away when a relationship fails instead of taking drastic measures including killing their partners.

“I want young people to know that it is not cool to kill your boyfriend or girlfriend even where you feel disappointed or frustrated – don’t do it.

“Instead, it is cool to walk away and thereafter to forgive,” she advised.

The victim’s aunt, Emmah Wanjiku lauded the decision saying: “Anybody who thinks there’s no justice, there’s justice for victims and that’s what we were hoping for today.

“We’re glad that this day came…”

Wanjiku also divulged that Kamande was too controlling over Mohammed and it was sad that she had cut his life short.

“He had just completed his Information Technology course and he had made an effort working part-time to complete his education. He had just started his job when his life was cut short,” she said.

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ruth kamanderuth kamande sentencingfarid mohammeddeath sentence