KISUMU, Kenya, Feb 19 – Emotions ran high Monday morning before a Kisumu court during the start of a public inquest seeking to establish how six-month-old baby Samantha Pendo died in August last year.
Baby Pendo’ s mother, Lencer Achieng broke down when she started testifying before Resident Magistrate Beryl Omollo who directed that the matter must be expedited because of the immense public outcry that it elicits.
Baby Pendo’s father Joseph Abanja is among other witnesses listed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
The ODPP has lined up 21 witnesses who are ready to testify at the inquest including Dr Dixon Mchana who conducted the post-mortem, several police officers, activist and Kisumu City Residents Voice Chairman Audi Ogada among others.
Baby Pendo died in hospital after she was allegedly hit on the head by police officers who were on-duty quelling protests by NASA supporters in Kisumu following the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the 2017 presidential election.
The post-mortem report showed her scalp was cracked and she had internal bleeding. Her parents said she was asleep in her mother’s arms when police stormed into the home and beat her.
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o declared February 8 as Baby Samantha Pendo Human Rights Day.