Families of four lynching victims now say their lives are in danger

Senior Counsel John Khaminwa before Kisii High Court judge Rose Ougo. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The families of four women lynched in Kisii have presented a list of more suspects.

Lawyer John Khaminwa on Monday told the court that some people involved in the incident were still walking free and were threatening the families. 

Making his submission against the bail and bond application before Kisii High Court Judge Hellen Ougo, Khaminwa said he had given the names to the investigating officers at the Rioma Police Station.

“A clear signal must be sent by the courts that offenders are not to receive lenience from the courts. The families of the victims made it clear that they are receiving threats. Their lives are at risk. Life is precious and life has been taken away. Let the accused continue to be in custody of the court. We don’t want to be embarrassed to be told that another life has been lost,” he said.

Brian Nyakundi, 19, Peter Angwenyi, 25, Chrispine Ogeto, 17, Justine Morara, 24, Ronald Onyonka, 24, Amos Nyakundi alias Sonko, 38, have been charged over the killing of Sindege Mayaka, Rael Okware, Agnes Moraa and Jemimah Mironga on October 17 in Mbanda, Marani sub-County.

Khaminwa argued that the victims were old women who enjoy special protection in the Constitution and in the international laws.

He noted that the killing of elderly women on suspicion of being witches is a crime deeply rooted in Kisii. 

In the social report compiled by Probation Officer Gerald Atinda, the six were not suitable for bail. The State warned that their safety may not be guaranteed.

The court will rule on the application on December 15.

Hearing is set to begin on March 1 next year.