NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – Kisilu Mutua, now aged 73, has sued the government for illegal imprisonment and torture over the killing of Pio-Gama Pinto in the 1960s.
Mutua was detained for 36 years and was freed on pardon in 2001 by the then President, Daniel arap Moi.
Police arrested him on February 24, 1965 at 11pm while having drinks at a Nairobi bar with friends, but complains that he was not informed of the offence he committed.
At the time, Mutua told the court that “he was a young, healthy Kenyan aged 22 years old trading in Nairobi as a handcart operator.”
He said he was taken to Eastleigh Police Station where his testicles were squeezed and was beaten on the toes with rungus.
He claims that he was later detained in Pangani Police Station where police allegedly brutalized him to point of death by forcing him to sign a confession before charging him with murder on July 5, 1965.
The statement, he said, was used as evidence before former Chief Justice John Ainley who tried him but declined to admit them as part of the proceedings.
He was convicted for 10 days and later sentenced to death for the killing of Pinto.
Mutua appealed against the conviction and the sentence, but on November 12, 1965 in proceedings that took less than 30 minutes, he said the appeal was dismissed without any written judgment.
He argued that the information that was used against him was out of an involuntary confession.
In his suit papers, Mutua indicated that he was held at Kamiti Maximum Security and Naivasha Prisons for 36 years and was released on July 4, 2001 following orders of retired President Daniel arap Moi.
The former president then directed that he be given a piece of land at Yatta Plateau but this was never implemented.
He also said he lost all his relatives and continues to live with the stigma of being a prisoner as he was never accepted by the community.
“This has made me hide my true identity to most people,” he stated.
His release was as a result of pressure to the then president by lawyers and family members who felt his imprisonment was unfair.