Even with all the witnesses, and not forgetting the fact it happened in broad daylight, Naftali Kinuthia, the man accused of hacking the late Ivy Wangechi, a 6th-year Moi University medical student to death still pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
Kinuthia pleaded not guilty to the offence of murder when he appeared before Eldoret High court judge Stephen Githinji on Tuesday, leaving many people baffled and some seething with anger. But maybe instead of being mad at the accused, we should be angry with ourselves, the mob — those boda boda riders who decided to play both the prosecutor and the executioner.
If only the mob had only apprehended the late student’s killer and handed him to the police , instead of taking it upon themselves to lynch him, then we wouldn’t be facing this stalemate — even though some are arguing he can’t win, not with all those witnesses.
Whoever called the mob “people with no brains,” was absolutely right. Look, probably they’ve handed Ivy’s only suspect his freedom, and then that poor girl wasting away in the grave would never find justice, just like Mercy Keino, Carol Ngumbu, and Sharon Otieno.
But we should also give it up to Kinuthia’s defense for playing their cards right, leaving the prosecution with a bitter taste in their mouths. Their client is innocent as far as they’re concerned, he’s a victim — a victim of mob justice, just like Ivy Wangechi.
And this should serve as a lesson to those people who take matters into their own hands, stoning suspects to death in most cases. Mob justice denies suspects opportunity to defend themselves, hence obstructing justice. No one has the power to take another person’s life, no matter the severity of their crime.
Many innocent lives have been lost merely on notion, and assumption. Someone shouts “thief”, and people descends on them with all manner of crude weapons, beating the person to death without even caring to know what the person is accused of. Sometimes is just out of pure malice, a little misunderstanding, like what happened to my late friend, Johnny, his elder brother, Victor and their friend, Vitalis.
The three boys agreed to help drive a cow to the market for their neighbor’s junkie, vagabond of a son for some little cash for their school pocket money since schools were about to open (was only a week to opening date).
To make the long and ugly story short, the guys got to the market only to be ambushed by an angry mob baying for their young blood. Their crime, being thieves — cattle thieves — while at the moment, the “owner of the cow”, the only person in the whole world who would have exonerated them at the moment, was in the wind.
The boys’ plea for mercy, and an opportunity to be heard fall on deaf ears. They were brutally killed; kicked and stoned, hacked with machetes and other crude weapons, and finally set ablaze with tires and petrol. It was such a horrific and painful way to end a young and innocent life.
Wish you saw the parents, especially Johnny’s mom and grandma during the funeral. That family has never been the same again. Burying all your boys in the same day can be any parents nightmare. Now all the parents have left is a daughter, their eldest child. (One of this days I’ll reach out. Wanna know how she’s doing after all these years).
The unnecessary pain would’ve been avoided, my friend and his big brother and our mutual friend would be alive today if only those mindless people used their heads just for a second. Johnny, alias “Msanii” would still be alive, and maybe a famous rapper by now, like he always wanted, if only the mob spared his life like he pleaded.