Family of ‘crucified’ man claims act was inhuman, seeks justice

A family member displays the nails that were used to ‘crucify’ Collins Sambaya on a guava tree in Vihiga county. [Brian Kisanji, Standard]

The family of a man who was nailed on a tree at Chamasali in Vihiga County over theft claims has vowed to fight for justice.

Collins Sambaya family wants the police to hasten investigations into the heinous incident and arrest the culprits.

Vihiga police commander Benjamin Ong’ombe told The Standard yesterday that the suspects are still at large.

“We shall arrest the culprits and prosecute them for committing the inhuman act of assaulting Collins Sambaya,” said Ong’ombe.

Speaking on phone, the police boss said security agencies were combing villages in search of the suspects.

“That was totally inhuman, it is unacceptable and we shall not allow people to take the law into their own hands and do things that go against human rights,” he said.

He said the suspects and any other person found taking the law into their own hands will be dealt with as criminals.

“Every person has a right to justice regardless of their crimes and it is only the court that has the legal mandate to pass judgement against any individual,” he said.

A section of residents claimed Sambaya, 19, had dropped out of school and became an easy target of the suspects.

Sambaya’s uncle Alex Kimanyani said the family was living in fear. 

“We fear the attackers could strike again and do something worse,” he said.

“We have plans to educate Sambaya but the family has been experiencing financial difficulties. He will go back to school when we get money to pay fees for him,” said Kimanyani.

According to Kimanyani, the assailants had reported that Sambaya stole their music mixer worth Sh6,000 and demanded compensation.

“My nephew denied stealing anything from the suspects but we are willing to pay for the items as a family because the suspects threatened to harm him,” he said.

He said the teenager ought to be given the opportunity to be heard ‘before people judge him.’

Sambaya is still nursing injuries at Itando Mission hospital where he was rushed after the incident.