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Death row: Prison beauty queen Ruth Kamande loses appeal

 Ruth Kamande [Photo: Courtesy]

Ruth Kamande, who was declared Lang’ata Women’s Prison beauty queen in 2016 has lost an appeal challenging her death sentence. The 26-year-old will regret her entire life a single calamitous act of killing her then-boyfriend Farid Mohammed in 2015.

Kamande will now spend her life behind bars and on death row after a second court decreed that she has a heart full of malice, spite, callousness and hatred and which equally deserves to be punished by death. After High Judge Jessie Lessit sentenced her to death, Kamande moved to the Court of Appeal hoping to prove that she had no intention to kill Mohammed.

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She explained that although the State had claimed that she had previously seen some letters the deceased had written to another woman, she had reconciled with him to an extent that she would go cook for him. The woman narrated that she stabbed him in self-defense, adding that there was proof that there was struggle between them as she too had injuries.

However, Court of Appeal judges Hannah Okwengu, Mohamed Warsame and Jamilla Mohammed declined to tilt the scales of justice in her favour. “Upon close scrutiny of the evidence adduced, we cannot but conclude, as did the learned judge, that the appellant’s alleged defense of self-defense was unbelievable given the cogent and compelling evidence of the prosecution witnesses,” the judges ruled yesterday.

“In our view, the nature of injuries suffered by the deceased and admittedly caused by the appellant is a clear testimony that the appellant intended to kill, hence the offence of murder was proved beyond any reasonable doubt in regards to malice aforethought.” The judges also rejected her plea of lenient sentence.

Her lawyers, former Attorney General Githu Muigai and a Mrs Okonji put up a spirited argument saying the State did not prove murder. According to the two, there was no postmortem examination to ascertain that the victim died of inflicted injuries.

According to Muigai, the High Court erred by relying on the evidence of Mohammed’s former landlord and his wife who gave conflicting accounts on what happened. He argued that it had not been proven that she took a knife from the kitchen nor was it shown that she was the first to attack. “The stab wounds were random and not around one location in a calculated attempt to kill the deceased,” Githu argued.

Read Also: Ruth Kamande - Long trail of love and death

The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji opposed the appeal. Through senior assistant DPP Hassan Abdi, he argued that Kamande was obsessed with the deceased, prone to extreme jealousy and possessive of the deceased. According to Abdi, the 23 stab wounds inflicted upon the deceased were a clear indication of intent and malice.

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