Widow wants governor Kiraitu Murungi jailed for failing to pay her Sh2m

Vincate Makena vending bread at Karumanthe in Meru. [Olivia Murithi, Standard]
A widow wants Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi committed to civil jail for failing to pay her Sh2,354,790 as ordered by court.

Resident Magistrate Tina Madowo awarded Vincate Makena, 30, the damages last November after finding the county government driver Samwel Koome Githae 80 per cent responsible for the fatal accident that claimed her husband Simon Kiunga Mwanja's life.

On the night of June 24, 2017, the Meru County government driver was cruising the Maua-Meru road in the deputy governor's official car when he crashed Mwanja to death. Mwanja was a bread seller. This forever changed the lives of his family members.

Witnesses said the Toyota Land Cruiser attached to then Deputy Governor Raphael Muriungi collided with the motorcyclist near the Meru Teachers College at 3am.

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The motorcyclist died on the spot.

Almost two years later, Mwanja's widow is seeking to have Kiraitu committed to civil jail for failing to honour the court ruling on the compensation.

“They have made my life one miserable hell in which I live like a wild bird unsure of what tomorrow brings,” Makena said.

Her brief employment as a casual labourer was terminated by the county government last year.

She says her son has had to return to Standard Eight even though he secured 310 marks in the last Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and a high school slot.

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She says she can barely make ends meet and finds it difficult to keep pace with the bread vending job she inherited.

“Since my husband died, we have shifted houses five times,” she said.

Her lawyer Elijah Ogoti has accused the county government of being heartless and for refusing to pay the widow.

It is the frustrations that have driven the lawyer to file an application at the chief magistrate’s court to commit Kiraitu to civil jail. The case comes up for hearing today.

“They killed my husband and now they want to me to have no future,” the widow sums up her predicament.

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Governor Kiraitu Murungiwidow