unlawful detention

Challenging culture of impunity in Kenya

Three former university professors have brought a claim in Kenya’s high court asking for restitution for human rights infringements. They seem to be part of a trend to end the culture of impunity in Kenya. The three had been detained and tortured under a previous government, and now, more than 30 years later, wanted recognition of what had happened, plus compensation for how their lives had been ruined by the unlawful action against them.

Read judgment

The solemn opening remarks by Judges John Mativo and Pauline Nyamweya signaled the gravity of the decision they were about to give and the horrors the case would disclose: torture, unlawful abduction, years in illicit detention, lives wrecked, bodies broken.

Law is the “bloodline of every nation”, the judges said. “The end of law is justice. It gives justice meaning.” It was a shield or refuge from misery, oppression and injustice.

Justice for ex-corporal more than three decades later

IN one of the most unusual decisions yet to come out of Kenya’s constitutional court division, Judge Chacha Mwita has upheld a claim by a former member of that country’s defence force, that he was unlawfully detained for over four years until 1986. The court found it could consider the case, even though the events took place so long ago, and has awarded damages of almost R900 000, plus costs and interest.

This article is re-published with permission from LegalBrief: Your Legal News Hub by Juta&Co.

 

A LONG, long time ago, in 1976 to be exact, John Muruge Mbogo joined the Kenya armed forces and was detailed to serve with the air force. In the next six years, before his life changed forever, he rose to the position of corporal. Then, in 1982, he was detained and handed over to the army on suspicion that he was part of an aborted coup.

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