As we catch up with the events of the Christmas and New Year Holidays it would be remiss of the Kenya Forum not to draw attention to several instances of one of the more unsavoury and less edifying aspects of Kenyan life: the propensity for ‘lynching’ people.
‘PUT TO DEATH’
A Mr Joseph M’Imathiu was cornered by a mob at Kioru in the Imenti North district on Sunday and there put to death. His alleged crime? Stealing a chicken.
BEATEN TO DEATH AND SET ON FIRE
Two days before the Kioru killing, a 30 year-old farmhand named only as ‘Mugendi’ was beaten to death and his body set on fire at Kirigi village, Embu. His alleged crime? Stealing a radio.
Same day, similar story, different place but not far away in Embu East. Mr Anthony Muchangi, wanted for alleged ‘criminal activities’, was said to have found his girlfriend with another man. She screamed. ‘Members of the public’ were attracted to the scene, whereupon they beat Muchangi unconscious. He died later in Kyeni Mission Hospital.
STONED TO DEATH
Back in Nairobi, on 2 January, a mob in the Karanja area of the Kibera slum ‘lynched’ four suspects who blamed for a recent spate of street robberies. Two of the young men killed were in their early 20s: they were stoned to death and died on the spot.
One of the young men killed was a class seven boy from a nearby school: he died later in hospital.
BODA BODA ROBBERS KILLED
In the Kibwezi district of Makueni county, just before the end of the year, two men suspected of robbing a boda boda operator were killed (but it was not reported how) by a mob. A third man ‘escaped’ so for good measure the mob burnt his house down.
INNOCENT UNTIL PROVED GUILTY
The Kenya Forum sadly admits that ‘the mob’, at least in part, take the law into their own hands because they do not feel they can get justice via the police force. We point out again, however, that all of those killed were ‘innocent until proved guilty’.
Mob justice is an oxymoron. Call the police and abide by Kenya’s new constitution and Bill of Rights, says the Kenya Forum. ‘Lynchings’ are unjust and they stain our country’s reputation.