, NAIROBI, Kenya, October 13 – The High Court has awarded Sh11 million to the families of five children who were killed in an explosive in Kajiado County.
In his ruling Justice Msagha Mbogholi indicated that the Ministry of Defence was liable for the death of the children.
The five, Elijah Panai, Isaiya Sunkuya, Boniface Meisanka, Stephen Letuya, and Joel Sintamei, died in May 2011 at Olmararoi Village Kajiaodo county some 40 kilometres from Nairobi.
The children were taking livestock home after a daylong grazing mission, when they came across the mortar bomb and started to play with it.
“It would be absurd for the court to assume that a bomb which exploded a few kilometres from the Ministry of State for Defence training ground belonged to any other entity when there is every indication that it must have been left,” the Judge said in his ruling.
The judge held that all of the blame should go to the Ministry as it was liable for the actions of its agents.
He explained that the damages are for pain and suffering as well as loss of expectation of life.
“They were young and healthy and would have probably lived a long life and happy life,” he said.
“They were aged between 5 and 8 years and of good health when they died. They were bright children as demonstrated by their school reports exhibited. Their future prospects were thus quite good.”
The parents had blamed the Ministry for the accident on the negligence of the ministry for failing to secure the military training grounds and exposing the ammunition and explosives to the residents.
Durign their defence, the Kenya Defence Forces had denied liability saying the incident occurred 3 kilometers from the training area.