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Migori granny, 87, who spent Christmas and New Year behind bars released

By Dennish Ochieng' | January 7th 2016
Risper Ng'wena, a Migori granny who was remanded at Migori prisons late last alighting from a police car at Rongo Law Courts in Migori County after the DPP dropped her case. [PHOTO: DENISH OCHIENG/STANDARD]

RONGO: Risper Ng'wena, the 87-year-old woman remanded at Migori prison after she was accused of stealing two plastic chairs at Kanyamanga village in Ranen, Awendo sub-county has been released after Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko paid her bail of Sh5,000.

The story elicited sharp reactions from Kenyans on social media who were dissatisfied with the Judiciary's handling of the case where the granny was accused of stealing the chairs worth Sh550 each.

However, in a statement, the Judiciary explained that the decision to keep the granny in custody was taken for her safety because her neighbours who torched her house were still hostile.

Ng'wena spent the Christmas and New Year celebration season in remand waiting for the court to determine her innocence after her grandson who allegedly stole the chairs left them at her house and took off. Villagers burned the woman’s house when they failed to her grandson.

Following the story, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Keriako Tobiko moved swiftly to ensure the release of the woman by issuing an order for the case to be dismissed and the matter be settled out of court.

Reports indicate that despite DPP Tobiko's orders, paperwork impeded the clearance process keeping the granny in remand for at least five more hours Thursday.

Sonko Rescue Team which had travelled to Migori County then paid the cash bail to have Mrs Ng'wena's release.

According to Senator Mbuvi's Personal Assistant George Omollo, the team arrived in Rongo at 7:30am Thursday and settled the Sh5,000 cash bail imposed by the court in order to secure the granny's release.

"We paid the Sh5,000 cash bail and were given the release order. After we had made bail, the State Counsel said there were orders from the DPP Keriako and Chief Justice Willy Mutunga demanding the release of the granny, though these orders were not immediately effected," he said.

There was a drama at the Migori prisons when the prison orderlies and the county police commander David Kirui refused to release the granny to the Sonko team, prompting a chase back to Rongo Law courts with journalists in pursuit.

In the afternoon, a police car pulled at the court's parking, Ng'wena on board but too feeble to disembark.

The Sonko team together with Pan Africa Insurance Migori manager Moses Nyambere decided to help her seek immediate medical attention and was later rushed to Pastor Machage Memorial hospital where she was treated and left to go home.

Mrs Ng'wena had nine children of whom seven are dead. The only surviving son is equally old man doing fishing in Lake Victoria.

She thanked Sonko and was all smiles when she was taken to her house late in the evening. "May God bless the Senator for saving me from the wrath of a Government that does not listen to the voices of the week. At my age, I can't steal. The Government officers could have listened to my pleas instead of locking me up," Mrs Ng'wena said.

She added, "I forgive my neighbour who made me carry the burden of my stubborn grandson and spent time Christmas and New Year in jail."

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