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Kilifi man who drowned during curfew enforcement had injuries inflicted by blunt object: Autopsy

By Charo Banda On Thu, 11 Jun, 2020 16:27 | 2 mins read
A crime scene. [PHOTO | FILE]
A crime scene. PHOTO/FILE

A postmortem report on 32-year-old Kilifi resident, Karisa Ngowa, who drowned last Thursday, June 4, while running away from police officers enforcing the dusk-to-dawn curfew, shows he had physical injuries.

Ngowa, a boda boda operator, was riding home with a colleague at 7:30pm on the Kilifi-Malindi Highway, when police officers threatened to arrest them for flouting the then-7pm to 5am curfew.

Ngowa is said to have jumped into the nearby Mtondia dam, where he drowned.

However, a postmortem report released Thursday, June 11, indicates that the deceased had injuries in his back, left leg and right hand inflicted with a blunt object.

The autopsy, which was conducted at the Kilifi County Referral Hospital morgue, suggests Ngowa was unable to swim to safety due to the injuries.

It is alleged that the deceased was physically harmed as he ran away to evade arrest.

Haki Africa rapid response officer, Mathias Shipeta, now wants the DCI boss, George Kinoti, to order investigations into the death of the tricenarian.

“The cops who beat up and injured Ngowa, leading to his death, should be made to face the law, including being sacked from the police service. They can’t be trusted to maintain law and order, yet they are unnecessarily violent. Justice for Ngowa should be served,” said Shipeta.

Representatives of the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) were present during Ngowa’s postmortem.

The Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU) representative, Mohamed Mwalimu, asked the National Police Service Commission to interdict the officers, who were stationed at Mtondia area to enforce the curfew on June 4, 2020.

“If they remain in office, they will, most likely, interfere with investigations into Ngowa’s death,” said Mwalimu.

Ngowa family’s spokesperson, Patrick Kazungu Ngumbao, urged authorities to expedite investigations so that the rogue cops, who led to the death of their loved one are brought to book.

Kilifi County Police Commander, James Mugera, on Thursday, June 11, assured Ngowa’s family that a probe into their kin’s death has commenced.

Mugera said five witnesses, among them the boda boda rider who was with Ngowa on June 4, have recorded statements.

Ngowa’s death sparked outcry from Kilifi residents, including Kilifi North MP Owen Baya, who demanded speedy investigations into the youthful man’s death.

“We are hopeful that the probe won’t take long before it is completed,” said Baya, who had marched to the OCPD’s office alongside Sokoni Ward MCA Gilbert Peru on Wednesday evening (June 10).

“We urge more witnesses to come forward and record statements with police, that’s the only way we can win the case against these rogue cops. All witnesses will be put under protection,” said Mugera.

After Ngowa drowned on Thursday, June 4, his body was retrieved from the dam on Friday, June 5.

A recent report by Haki Africa on crime-motivated killings in Coast Region shows that at least 20 people were murdered between March 13, 2020 and May 31, 2020. Fourteen (14) out of the 20 deaths were caused by police, the report shows.

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