Slain Kenyan activist buried

March 14, 2009 12:00 am

, KIAMBU, Kenya, Mar 14 – Kenya’s slain human rights campaigner Kamau King’ara was laid to rest on Saturday at the family home in Muchatha, Kiambu.

Legislators Bonny Khalwale and Stanley Githunguri joined friends and family of the late Oscar Foundation boss including Constitutional lawyer Paul Muite and Civil society officials calling for an independent probe into his killing.

“The police cannot investigate themselves. The only way out of this is to accept external help from the US government to send over the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation officials),” Kepta Ombati, a rights activist said.

Mr Ombati who’s also the Program Coordinator of ‘akibaUhaki’, a human rights and social justice fund, said a report (into the killings) by the two foreign investigators was likely to be more credible than one from the police whom he said were suspects in the matter.

The late King’ara had accused the police of being behind extra-judicial killings of suspected Mungiki sect adherents. He was killed nine days ago alongside his colleague Paul Oulu. That was the same day a protest he organised for families of missing Mungiki suspects got underway in Nairobi and Central Province.

“We are willing to invest time and resources to see to it that this matter is conclusively and satisfactorily dealt with,” Mr Ombati said, alleging a political plot behind the assassination of the rights offenders.

The activist insisted that Government’s Spokesman Alfred Mutua, Police Commissioner Major Gen Mohammed Hussein Ali and Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe ought to step aside while the probe is conducted. Hours before Mr Kinga’ara was killed Mr Mutua claimed the government had evidence that the Oscar Foundation was involved with the outlawed Mungiki sect and warned that action would be taken against the organisation including deregistration.

“Mr Mutua is a suspect. He issued a statement linking Oscar Foundation (and the late Kinga’ara) to organised criminal gangs. To date there’s no evidence that has been adduced in a court of law,” he told mourners.

The Public Communications secretary has come under fire from his bosses including Prime Minister Raila Odinga for issuing what he termed an alarming statement about the rights group.
Meanwhile, Mr Muite called for reforms in the judiciary to ensure proper prosecutions take place.

He said instead of executing suspects, the police ought to apprehend the young men they suspect of illegal conduct and present them before a court of law.

“We hear the excuse that these people (suspects) are executed because when they are taken to court, they are usually set free. If the judiciary is the problem, then fix it,” he demanded.

It is claimed that over 1,700 suspected Mungiki members have died at the hands of police officers while hundreds more thought to be ‘Mungiki sympathisers’ have disappeared.

The murderous outlawed gang is infamous for its string of beheadings, extortion and a curious political inclining.


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