Murder charges for officer in Mpeketoni woman’s boda boda death
A police officer who allegedly made a 22-year-old woman to suffer severe skull injuries after hitting her off a speeding motorbike in Mpeketoni in Lamu County will be charged with murder.
The decision comes after the victim, Margaret Njeri, succumbed to her injuries and died while undergoing treatment at a Mombasa hospital.
Lamu acting County Commissioner Fredrick Ndambuki said he had issued orders for the officer to be arrested and arraigned in court immediately on murder charges.
Mr Ndambuki said the case had been under investigation since the incident happened on January 17 and now that the woman had died, the officer should be held responsible for her death and face the consequences for his actions.
“I know this issue has raised a lot of emotions, (and) I am therefore calling for calm to allow the security agents to carry out their work and the culprit will be arraigned in court as soon as possible,” said Mr Ndambuki.
The deceased had been admitted to Pandya Hospital since January 17 after she sustained severe head injuries from the assault.
It is said that the officer, while attempting to stop the boda boda operator carrying Njeri, threw a gun at the rider but missed him, hitting Njeri on her head and causing her to fall off the speeding motorbike and onto the rough road sustaining severe head injuries.
The officer was transferred from Mpeketoni Sub-County to Kizingitini Police Station, with leaders and locals accusing the police department of hiding the culprit and taking no disciplinary action.
Speaking in Mpeketoni recently, various political leaders in Lamu, including Governor Issa Timamy, his deputy, Eric Mugo, and Lamu West MP Julius Ndegwa, condemned the officer’s action, saying they would ensure that the woman’s hospital bill, which stood at Sh2 million, would be settled.
The leaders said they would follow up on the issue and make sure the woman and her family get justice.
The mother of the deceased, Miriam Njeri Njuguna, speaking to reporters after her daughter’s, said that all she wanted was justice for her.
Mrs Njuguna said she wants the officer to come forward and apologize to her family, adding that she has an important message she wants to pass on to him.
“My daughter was scheduled to go for her fourth surgery on her cracked skull before she died, which is so painful,” sighed Mrs Njuguna, adding that she had just celebrated her 22nd birthday before the accident.
Lamu West OCPD Zachary Kimani said officers had been building a case of manslaughter against the officer and were waiting for the woman to recover so they could get her testimony.
Mr Kimani said the only witness in the case was the boda boda rider and they needed the woman’s statement.
“Since the (woman) has died, the case will change from manslaughter to murder,” said Mr Kimani.