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Justice at last: Kin of murder victims welcome verdict

The widows, Rebbecca Wanja wife to deceased Josaphat Mwanga and Hannah Kimani left the wife to the late Willy Kimani during the ruling of willy Kimani's murder case on July 22 2022. [Esther Jeruto, standard]

When lawyer Willy Kimani, his client and a taxi driver were murdered six years ago, their families sank into despair.

Their trauma was real and whenever they came to court to follow the trial of four police officers and one civilian accused of killing their loved ones, they would break into tears at the mention of the victims' names.

But yesterday after six years, the families of Kimani, his client  Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri found justice after the three police officers and the civilian who orchestrated the murder were found guilty.

“It has not been easy but by the will of God, we have finally found justice. The judgment gives us hope that Willy Kimani did not die in vain. Even though it will not bring him back, we are happy that justice has been done,” said Kimani’s widow Hannah Wanjiku.

Kimani’s father, Paul Kimani who braved the cold weather in Nairobi to witness the verdict on the people who killed his son, said he was satisfied with the outcome and happy that his son’s would can now rest in peace.

What was more relieving for the families of the three deceased was that the judgement came just a month after they commemorated the sixth anniversary of their loved ones’ deaths on the night of June 23, 2016.

The families shed tears of joy to replace the tears of pain they shed when the three officers Fredrick Leliman, Stephen Morogo, Sylvia Wanjohi and the civilian Peter Ngugi killed their loved ones.

They followed keenly as Justice Jessie Lessit delivered the judgment and marvelled at all her findings that the four were guilty of the murder.

Stella Muriri, a sister to the taxi driver who met his death for merely doing his work to fend for his family, said a huge burden had been relieved from their shoulders following Justice Lessit’s judgement.

“We felt like carrying a burden each time we came to court for the hearings but today we feel a big relief. At least it serves as a warning to other police officers who like carrying out extra-judicial killings,” she said.

For Mwenda’s widow Rebecca Wanja, his death robbed their young family of a breadwinner but the final verdict had erased their tears.

Simon Njenga, a brother to lawyer Kimani, said they had pressed on for six years waiting for the judgement but the pain is finally gone after his brother’s killers were found guilty.

“It has been a long painful journey, his death disturbed us all as a family. I know the spirit of my brother and the other two could not rest well but now that justice has been delivered, they can rest in peace,” said Njenga.

The International Justice Mission (IJM) which took up the case said through its county director Benson Shamalla that the killing of the three was done by people who were supposed to give them security and hoped that the judgment will help their families heal from their deaths.