Mother of baby Pendo Lenser Achieng in hospital
The baby died at the Intensive Care Unit at Aga Khan Hospital, Kisumu on Wednesday. The autopsy showed the baby died from a severe head injury caused by a bang on the skull.

“I voted and went back home, like a good child who listens to his mother,” said Joseph Abanja, the father of six-month old baby Pendo, who died shortly before 6pm on August 15 at the Aga Khan Hospital in Kisumu in one of the most criticised post-election violence in Kenya.

Pendo is Lenser Achieng’s second successful delivery coming after nine years of one miscarriage after another.

Their first born is currently eight years old, but Pendo was their miracle baby, coming after three consecutive miscarriages. They had agreed she would be their last attempt.

“Samantha was very lovely and active, that’s why we named her Pendo. At one-month old, you could see a bright future ahead of her,” said Abanja.

On August 8, Abanja and his wife woke up very early. Achieng clutched Pendo to her chest as they headed to their polling station.

“After my wife voted, the polling clerks inked Pendo’s tiny finger,” said Abanja. The couple were excited that their little girl had changed the destiny of this nation.

After voting, Abanja, a tuktuk driver in Nyalenda went back to their single-room, mud-walled house in Nyalenda slums, where they keenly followed the voting exercise on TV.

 The father to the Late six month old Samantha Pendo, Joseph Abanja overcome by grief at the Aga Khan Hospital where the toddler died,

Abanja said that on the Friday of August 11, he was with his family when the presidential results were being announced.

“We heard screams and gunshots all over the place and it did not sound safe, so we switched off the TV, the lights and went to bed,” he said.

As things began to cool down, Abanja said he heard voices and knocks on their neighbours’ doors.

“The cops were demanding to come into our homes,” he said.

When it was their turn, “I refused to open and the cops lobbed two teargas canisters into our house, sending us into panic,” he said.

As they tried to escape, police officers landed on them with rungus, leaving Abanja and his wife with multiple injuries. Little Pendo sustained head injuries.

Doctors at Aga Khan Hospital where Pendo was admitted confirmed that she had a serious head injury which led to internal bleeding of the brain, leading to her death four days later.

The couple is still in shock and grief and had accrued a Sh200,000 medical bill by the time of the baby’s death.

The couple also need to pay for the mortuary and other funeral costs, which will be incurred before Pendo is buried at their rural home in Magoya in Ugenya, Siaya County.

Pendo’s Aunt, Treeza Uduny confirmed that the couple was yet to make an official report due to the nature of their attack.

“Knowing that it was the police who were responsible, my brother was reluctant to make a report, besides, the condition of the baby was stressing them. We are worried that the Children Department is so quiet even with the wide publicity of the case,” she said.

Police have denied breaking into people’s houses during the demonstrations, with Regional Commissioner Wilson Njenga saying police only cleared barricaded roads.

“Our officers did not get into any house or estate,” he insisted.