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Archive for March 17th, 2010

Free at Last but He Can’t Go Home

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2010

Nairobi — For thirteen years Mr Pharis Mbugua has been in jail for a murder he does not remember committing and just when the court was ready to release him, his family now says, no way. There is neither dispute that he killed his father nor any doubt that he is insane but Mr Mbugua is now at the mercy of the President who is to intervene in the case.

The court was ready to issue a non-custodial sentence — where the accused would go back home but be under the constant watch of probation officers — but the family insists they are uncomfortable with his return. They do not feel safe. According to the probation report the family says: “We are yet to forgive him for killing our father and since he is still insane he may be a threat to the neighbours.”

The report says that a non-custodial sentence would be ill advised since his siblings have since moved out and started their families. Mr Mbugua, now 38, can only go back to his 83-year-old mother who cannot take care of him. His aged mother fears that she may be blamed if her son hurts another person in the neighbourhood.

High Court Judge Fred Ochieng tends to agree and has now pushed the case to President Mwai Kibaki for directions. The judge will be writing to the head of state to give directions on the punishment to be accorded the accused. Mr Mbugua is alleged to have killed his father on February 27, 1997, at Gathanji village, Kiambu District.

The controversy whether Mr Mbugua was fit to stand trial began in 2004. Four judges ordered he be examined to determine if the trial should proceed. Medical reports by four different doctors brought even more confusion about Mr Mbugua’s mental status with two examinations showing he was fit to stand trial and two others saying he was not. Medical reports also indicated he was admitted to hospital on September 19, 1997, suffering from a mental illness, months after the alleged offence.

Intention to kill

Mr Mbugua’s lawyer, Ms Claire Nanjala, said evidence produced in court showed the accused had no intention to kill. A witness had earlier said Mr Mbugua was close to his father — and so did his mother and brother.

A doctor said he was behaving like a six-year-old and his condition could not be treated. Throughout the court sessions, Mr Mbugua, who said he does not remember killing his father, constantly smiled and adjusted his red tie, seemingly oblivious of the grave charges he was facing.

He was tried and found guilty of manslaughter and not murder as he had been charged. In his judgment Mr Justice Ochieng said: “It is clear the accused killed his father by striking him with a panga (machete) but considering medical reports which showed that he was insane he could not have been aware of his actions.”

According to Mr Justice Ochieng, the prosecution did not prove that the accused committed the offence out of malice even though all facts indicated that Mr Mbugua had killed his father. Last year Mr Mbugua’s case came into the limelight when the judge asked the prosecution to explain how a man charged with murder and whose medical reports indicate he is insane should be held accountable for his actions.

“It is impossible for an insane person to formulate malice which is a key ingredient when it comes to the offence of murder,” he had earlier said. The prosecution wanted the accused to be found guilty but insane, sparking debate on how an insane person can be guilty of an offence he probably does not even know he committed.

Mr Justice Ochieng had also argued that though the law allowed for someone to be found “guilty but insane” it was a contradiction. “The intention to kill is formulated in the mind. So if one is mentally sick, how can he formulate the intention? The accused in his evidence said he does not even remember killing his father,” said the judge. Mr Mbugua will now remain in custody until the President responds to the letter and only then will he know where his fate lies.

-Daily Nation


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Children Lost But Not Happy to Be Found

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2010

Nairobi — Tears flowed freely as a grandmother and a great grandmother were re-united with their grandchildren, who had gone missing for almost a month in Eldoret.

Though Esther Wandai Ngochi, 52, and her mother Grace Nyakio were full of smiles at the sight of their children, who were traced to a children’s home at Kamukunji, Eldoret West District, they were perplexed at the turn of events.

The children, Samuel Maina, nine, and Esther Wandai, six, are demanding to return to the children’s home, sending the family into renewed fears. Reason? While at the children home, they got used to watching television, listening to radio programmes and playing around with ‘white’ visitors who frequented the institution.

“We are very happy for the Daily Nation, which highlighted our plight, prompting many people to come to our rescue with all sorts of advice. Eventually, one of the advice took me to the gates of this children’s home,” Ms Ngochi said.

Ms Ngochi and her mother, Ms Nyakio, were among three families in Eldoret, who had undergone untold misery after the mysterious disappearance of their children.

Others are Mr John Leboi whose wife, Silvia, is missing and Mr David Barasa who is yet to locate his 16-year-old daughter, Sarah, who disappeared on February 14. The grandmother said she has been turned to a counsellor and has been trying to convince the children to stay at home instead of going back to the children’s home.

“I have told them that the home caters for destitute children who are yet to be re-united with their next of kin. I hope they will hear me and spare me the agony of going through sleepless nights thinking about their absence,” Ms Ngochi said.

She regretted that the children had threatened to return to the home simply to enjoy the ‘luxurious life’ there instead of living under squalid conditions with her. Together with the Standard Three and One pupils at Mwiruti Primary School, they stay at a good samaritan’s house after the post-poll violence uprooted them from their homes at Yamumbi area, Wareng District.

On the other hand, Mr Leboi is lost for words to describe the psychological torture he has gone through searching for his wife, who has remained missing since the 2007 electioneering period. Mr Leboi recalls that his wife, who ministered at Baptist Church, left their home in Ilula, Eldoret East District, at around 2 o’clock and never returned.

“Our three children, especially the last born aged eight years, keep on asking me about their mother and all I can tell them is that God will one day bring her back from her pastoral duties,” Mr Leboi, says. Mr Barasa and his wife Eldah, who stay at Huruma estate, are yet to come to terms with the equally mysterious disappearance of the Standard Eight pupil at St Patrick’s primary school, Eldoret.

“She just stepped out at around eight o’clock and there was no cause for alarm as it was still early. We have been waiting for her to return and its turning out to be days of misery,” her mother said. The families who have reported the matter to various police stations in the country are only hoping to see their next of kin alive and end the untold suffering they are going through.

They reveal they have travelled and communicated with all their relatives where they suspect the children might have gone, to no avail. With increasing cases of kidnap and scaring stories of people who steal children for ritual purposes, they can’t rule out any possibility.

Mr Barasa says he would like to know where his lastborn daughter in a family of four is, dead or alive. This will put his mind to rest so that he can continue fending for his family. “This is a nerve-wracking experience. I have never known how it feels to stay unsure where one of your own is. It’s like I am dreaming,” Mr Barasa, a businessman in Eldoret, says.

Mrs Barasa remembers how her daughter, clad in a red T-shirt, black skirt and white slippers left the house in high spirits only to disappear. She says: “After waiting for about an hour, we became worried and alerted some of our neighbours to help us search for her. We surrendered to fate after failing to locate her within the neighbourhood and wished we would see her the following morning.”


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Drunk Kenyan Teacher Bites off Man’s Ear then Eats it

Posted by Administrator on March 17, 2010

Susan Mukuhi Mwarabu, a sixth grade teacher who bit off a man's ear in a drunken rage

Susan Mukuhi Mwarabu, a sixth grade teacher who bit off a man's ear in a drunken rage

An intoxicated woman horrified diners at a St. Paul, Minn. restaurant as she ripped part of a man’s ear off with her teeth, spit it out, then picked it up and put it back into her mouth before leaving. Susan Mukuhi Mwarabu, 30, was arrested on third-degree assault — inflicting substantial bodily harm — 4 a.m. after the bizarre attack on Monday at the Uptowner restaurant.

According to a criminal complaint, Mwarabu–a sixth grade reading and language teacher–was allegedly drunk and eating with a group of three other women at a table. The victim, a 33-year-old male was with a group of friends at another table. One of his friends made a comment about one of the women at Mwarabu’s table eating french fries. That’s when Mwarabu approached the man and “leaned down, licked his face and appeared as if she was going to throw up.” The man pushed her away. She then approached the victim and licked his ear, but when he pushed her away she leaned in and bit part of his ear off.

“He was in shock,” and bleeding a friend of the victim said in the complaint. An employee then told the women to leave, but a witness says as Mwarabu left the restaurant she picked the missing piece of the ear off the floor and put it back in her mouth.

The victim was taken to a hospital where he was told by a plastic surgeon that some of his ear will grow back.

Mwarabu is on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.

-All Voices.com

Posted in Diaspora News | 17 Comments »

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