Former banker, wife seek Sh12m for post-election violence

Scenes captured during the 2007/08 Post-election Violence in Naivasha. [File, Standard]

A former banker and his wife are seeking Sh12 million from the state as compensation for the loss of property and trauma suffered at the height of the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

Bethuel Njuguna and his wife Fidelis Wanjiru, in a joint affidavit, said the state failed to protect them and their children during the violence that rocked the country after the announcement of the presidential election results.

During this period, more than 1,000 people lost their lives, thousands were displaced from their homes, and property worth billions of shillings was either destroyed or looted in various parts of the country.

Njuguna, a resident of Kuresoi in Nakuru county, said he lost his English mansion valued at Sh9.7 million on his 127.5 acres of land. Additionally, he suffered losses of assorted farm machinery worth Sh1.4 million and Sh273,500 in crops and livestock.

Nakuru High Court judge Heston Nyaga, who is presiding over the case, on Wednesday said the court will visit the scene.

“The Deputy Registrar will visit the scene on November 30, and I will give guidance,” Nyaga said.

The banker, while testifying, said he was a government worker at Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and not a politician, questioning why the state failed to protect his family.

Expressing his grievances, Njuguna said the government failed and neglected to discharge its duty to gather relevant intelligence and put mechanisms in place to maintain peace, law, and order which led to him being displaced and his property ruined.

“As a result of violence my family and I were displaced, our property destroyed, vandalised and looted thereby rendering us homeless, destitute which is a humiliating experience,” Njuguna said.

The land, he said, was bought in 1971 from a foreigner and has been his home since, but now his family is unable to return and recover their property.

His son Samuel Mbugua said his parents managed to travel to Nairobi where he lives on January 12, 2008, but three days later he received a call from farm workers that the violence was near their farm.

“I called the OCS to inform him of the same and request for police officers to protect my father’s home, the OCS said he was unable to do that,” he added. The house, Mbugua said was attacked five days later, with the worker managing to escape, but 13 heads of cattle were stolen.

After the incident, following an intervention, he said that police visited the homestead but failed to assist. “Then on February 7, burglars broke into the house. The DO didn’t respond to my calls, and the house was set ablaze two days later,” he added.

He accused security agencies of failing his family by not responding and protecting the properties even with the resources at their disposal.

The state through an affidavit by E.N Njuguna denied the allegations of negligence, maintaining it has never renounced its duty of maintaining peace, law and order.

“The defendant denies any failure by the government to protect and defend the constitution putting the plaintiff to strict proof to the contrary,” read the state affidavit.