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Victims of Garissa university attack plead for compensation

By Graham Kajilwa | Sep 27th 2015 | 2 min read

Victims of the Garissa University College attack are now seeking a court order to compel the Government to compensate them.

They said the Government has exhibited reluctance to heed to their earlier pledge that they would compensate parents of children who died in the ill-fated terrorist act.

It is claimed that students who survived were the ones prioritised, with the Government transferring them to other universities, leaving parents of the deceased students wondering of their fate.

Kiharu Member of Parliament Irungu Kang’ata said for compensation to take place, there has to be a judicial process.

“Such cases are very complicated, with minimal chances of success. More so, if it succeeds it may not be the anticipated outcome. The Government cannot just sign off millions of shillings in compensation without a due legal process,” said the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee member, who joined the victims at Uhuru Park yesterday.

Kang’ata said with a case in court and an abandoned motion in Parliament, the Government needs more pressure to take action: “From experience, such compensations may take even eight years to be implemented.”

He advised the victims to trade their options carefully and with patience, for there is no guarantee of a possible State compliance: “There will be assessment, rationalisation of the parties’ liabilities before compensation is warranted. If it is argued that it was an accident and the Government had done everything to curb it, then there will be no compensation.”

About 147 students died when four gunmen allegedly from the Somali terror group Al Shabaab ambushed the Moi University constituent college in April. The Government later paid Sh100,000 to bereaved parents, with Deputy President William Ruto pledging to have them compensated. Chairman of the victims Janai Njeka however said no amount of compensation would be able to cover their loss.

“We need the Government to acknowledge their failure. Some parents are still undergoing counseling out of the trauma and they incur a lot of expenses,” said Njeka, who lost his daughter who was in her second year.

In a letter written to the victims, President Uhuru Kenyatta had assured them of justice after the brutal attack.

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