Family of Mombasa traffic cop killed by motorist cries for justice

By , K24 Digital
On Sun, 5 Mar, 2023 20:29 | 4 mins read
Family of Mombasa traffic cop killed by motorist cries for justice
Florence Matinde (donning yellow dress), the widow of the traffic officer who was last week killed by a motorist in Mombasa is consoled by relatives at the MUHURI offices in Mombasa.

The widow of a traffic officer killed last week by a motorist in Mombasa has said some powerful people in the country have started interfering with the case.

Florence Matinde, the wife of police constable Julius Marwa, who was pushed out of a moving vehicle, slammed into a guardrail and ran over by the Toyota Ractis car, says she fears justice may be subverted.

“There are people who have started interfering with the case. I do not have the power or strength to fight them,” Matinde said.

Speaking at the Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) offices near the Mombasa Law Courts, Matinde said she only wants justice for her late husband.

“No one is defending the police. We ask the human rights defenders to stand with us in this case because we have no other defender.”

“My husband was killed in a painful manner. I don’t know what I will do with the children he has left behind,” the distraught woman stated.

She says her late husband raised their children in a good life and added now the future is bleak.

“I am in pain. I don’t know what to do. Help me, please. Help me and my children.”

The deceased’s firstborn, Sylvia Ghati, said justice for her father will at least serve to pacify them.

“What happened was so inhuman. No one should undergo such. It’s so bad,” she said.

She said she has been unable to view the video clips circulating on social media showing how her father was killed.

“It’s so hurtful,” said the Daystar University student.

Marwa’s brother John Rioba complained that they have been kept in the dark about the case that was filed in court by the police.

“There is a certain mobilization of people from Nairobi, big powerful people, who want this case not to be straightforward. They want it to go sideways,” said Rioba.

He said his brother died a painful death while in the line of duty and the ‘killer’ had a certain motive.

Rioba said there was a passenger in the vehicle that suspect Osman Jama Abdi was driving.

Abdi, the driver who refused to have his vehicle’s engine switched off by the deceased officer, speeding off while Marwa was trying to get out of the vehicle’s way, was arrested moments later at an underground parking lot of a residential building in Nyali area of Mombasa.

He was taken to court and released on a Ksh500,000 bond pending the completion of investigations.

“The officers who were with Marwa said when they stopped the vehicle, there were two people in the car but only the driver was arrested. We have not seen the other accomplice. Where is the other one?” said Rioba.

He said Marwa, although a police officer, is also a Kenyan and deserves to enjoy the same rights as other Kenyans.

Muhuri rapid response officer Francis Auma said the organization will closely follow the case to its logical conclusion.

“The family has come to us because they feel very strongly that they are likely to not find justice after some people started calling them seeking to meet with them and negotiate,” Auma said.

Auma claimed there is some external pressure on the family to have them drop the case.

“These same people are trying hard to get to the higher-ups in government to try and get their man to go scot-free.”

Auma says the people trying to have the matter settled out of court have even tried reaching the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“They have mobilized themselves - powerful people in the government – trying to interfere with this case. This family feels strongly that they will not find justice,” Auma said.

However, the human rights lobby group says they will fight tooth and nail to ensure justice is served to the bereaved family.

MUHURI said they will monitor the case, and if need be, seek to be enjoined as an interested party.

“This matter should have already been picked by IPOA. They should come on board. Someone has died here. Police officers are also human beings and they have their families just as they have their human rights.”

The human rights defender said the 49-year-old Marwa was relatively young and had a family that depended on him.

He called on the Inspector General of Police to ensure this case does not disappear in the corridors of justice.

“We know in Kenya nothing is impossible. There is a lot of corruption and other shenanigans. This case could easily be swept under the carpet and Marwa will have died in vain. We won’t allow that,” said Auma.

Chacha Nyaigoti, another brother to Marwa, said the other person who was in the car should also be arrested and charged as Abdi’s accomplice.

He said the fact that they are being kept out of the loop in the case raises suspicion in the family.

“We are not told anything. We just hear that the suspect has been charged in court and taken for a psychiatric assessment. We also hear the body of our brother has been moved to Coast General Hospital from Jocham. We don’t know whatever is going on,” Nyaigoti said.

He said the report of the post-mortem conducted on Marwa’s body on Thursday at the Coast Teaching and Referral Hospital indicated that Marwa had internal bleeding.

All his ribs were broken and his chest was damaged, according to the post-mortem report.

His pelvic bone was crushed and his private parts were torn. “The liver was crushed. The spleen burst. And the intestines had been torn. The brain was intact but there was a lot of internal bleeding. That is what killed Marwa,” Nyaigoti added.

Nyaigoti described his brother as a hardworking family man who loved his job.

“He did not like anyone to infringe on him or his rights,” Nyaigoti stated.

Marwa left five children including two in secondary and another two in primary school.

His body will be moved from the Jocham Hospital morgue on Wednesday next week.

It will be transported to Migori County for an overnight stay at his home in Nyambeho village in Kuria East sub-county on Thursday before burial on Friday, March 10.

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