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15 former soldiers lose compensation case on 1982 coup attempt


A petition by 15 ex-Kenya Air Force soldiers seeking compensation for arrest, detention and torture on allegations of attempting to overthrow the government has been dismissed.

Justice Stephen Radido of the Kisumu Labour Court said the soldiers failed to give enough evidence to demonstrate their rights were violated.

He observed the their “lack of interest and seriousness” worked against them.

“The soldiers have treated the proceedings casually as they only waited for the court to issue a notice to show cause before seeking directions on the case, which had been filed nearly three years earlier,” he said.

The ex-servicemen led by Paul Omala sued the Attorney General on January 11, 2017, alleging violation of their rights as they sought general, exemplary and aggravated damages.

They argued that their fundamental rights and freedoms were violated by the Kenya Army officials and the Kenya Prisons officers who arrested and detained them on August 2, 1982, labelling them dissidents.

On September 26, 2017, when the petition was first mentioned, the court ruled it was invalid because it had not been signed.

It also noted that the supporting affidavit was sworn by an advocate and not one of the soldiers.

The two technical errors made the court strike it out but the soldiers appealed against the ruling.

On April 12, 2018, the petition was thrown out, but they filed another on October 2, 2018, and hearing was set for December 17 that year.

But the soldiers failed to appear in court on the day that the court once again rejected their petition due to technicalities.

On May 23, 2019, they filed yet another motion, which Justice Radido threw out.

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