The parents of the Late NTV journalist, Sarah Wambui Kabiru, who was killed by her husband, Moses Otieno Dola in May, 2011, now claim that Dola, who is serving a 10-year-jail term, has not sought to make peace with them as claimed in his March 12, 2020 application to have his prison sentence reduced.
Dola — on Thursday — filed an application at the High Court in Nairobi seeking a review of his sentence saying, among other reasons, that the time he has already served at Kamiti Maximum Prison has punished him enough.
Dola, in his three-page application, challenges the legality of his punishment, saying he was charged with murder, but Justice Roselyne Korir ended up convicting him of manslaughter on November 29, 2018.
“Given the sentence imposed [on me] falls under the probative terms, I do hereby request the honourable court to consider ordering it to be served under probation,” said Dola in his application.
The convict, who represented himself in court, wanted his imprisonment term substituted with a non-custodial one, saying the revised punishment will serve natural justice.
Non-custodial sentence refers to a punishment given by a court of law that does not involve a prison term, such as a fine or a restriction order.
In his affidavit, Dola, a former journalist at NTV, said he should be a beneficiary of clemency because he is a first-time offender, and that he is remorseful over his actions.
“Since I was thrown behind bars, I have taken counselling lessons and different programmes. I am, therefore, requesting for leniency from the courts, and to be given a second chance back in the society,” said Dola in his affidavit.
In his application, Dola wants the court to consider the 23 months (one-year and 11 months) he spent in remand before posting bail as part of the 10-year sentence.
The convict further claimed that his family had reached out to Wambui’s family for reconciliation, and he hoped that the talks would lead to a customary consensus.
Dola argued that should he be freed, his 10-year-old son will enjoy parental care.
As of now, neither of the boy’s parents is there with him, given his dad is in jail, and his mother is deceased, said Dola.
High Court Judge Luka Kimaru directed that Dola’s application be heard on March 24, 2020 before Justice Roselyne Korir, who jailed Dola in November 2018.
‘Serve jail term in peace’
And now, Wambui Kabiru’s parents say: “Dola should complete his jail term in peace without seeking to have his sentence reduced”.
Terming Dola’s appeal to the courts as “coming too soon”, Wambui’s mother, Agnes Njoki Kabiru, told K24 Digital: “He (Dola) wants to come out and enjoy life. That is unacceptable!”
Wambui’s father, John Kabiru, told K24 Digital that, contrary to Dola’s claim — that he has been reaching out to Wambui’s family — the convict is yet to initiate any form of communication with them.
“We are yet to receive any communication from him,” said Mzee Kabiru, adding: “Dola has been trying to have his jail term discontinued through many ways, but what I would tell him is that he should serve the 10-year jail sentence slapped on him over a year ago.”
“Since my girl was brutally killed in May 2011, no one from Moses Dola’s family has reached us, not even Dola himself has sought our forgiveness,” added John Kabiru.
‘Scared of the father’
The elderly man says Dola and Wambui’s son, who is 10 years old now, “is scared of the father”.
“Dola hasn’t been present in his son’s life since the child was one-and-a-half years old. The boy is even scared of meeting the father, fearing the convict will kidnap him,’ said Kabiru.
Since he was jailed, Dola is yet to even call Wambui’s parents — through prison authorities’ phone — to speak with the son, added Mzee Kabiru.
“The boy only knows Dola from a newspaper picture we showed him sometime back.”
According to the retired Major, they were forced to take their grandson through a series of counselling programmes before letting him know that his dad had been jailed for killing his [grandson’s] mother.
“That [counselling], took place two years ago, when the boy was 8 years old,” said Mzee Kabiru.
“As I am speaking to you today, the boy calls me ‘dad’, and refers to my wife, who is his grandmother, as ‘mum’.”
Mzee Kabiru said following the counselling, the grandchild has responded well, and is currently pursuing his education at Oshwal Academy.
May 1, 2011: Events that led to Wambui’s death
Dola was arrested on May 16, 2011, and was taken to prison where he spent 627 days before his trial began.
In 2012, he however, deposited a Ksh1 million bail to secure temporary freedom.
The accused, denied committing murder during the trial that began about eight years ago.
Recounting the events that led to Wambui’s death on May 1, 2011, Dola told the court that on the material day he woke up at 7.30am, headed to the living room and started playing gospel music in loud volume.
He then went back to the bedroom where Wambui was sleeping. She allegedly questioned why he played loud music while she and their then-2-year-old son were asleep.
The two fought over the loudness of the radio sound.
Pair of scissors
Dola told the court that Wambui then went after him with a pair of scissors. He added that she had been using the scissors to trim her dreadlocks.
“Just as I was picking our son, she shot up and charged at me. She asked where I wanted to take her baby. In her charging, she was holding the scissors. It was a split-second event. Unfortunately, it pricked (sic) my hand but I managed to squeeze her hand and she released it,” Dola testified, showing the stab wound on his palm.
“That was where the problem began. Wambui had a problem with the music (sic) and she said in Kiswahili: ‘Wewe ukiamka kwa hii nyumba kwani kila mtu lazima aamke (If you wake up in this house, must everyone else also wake up)?”
The judge was told that Wambui reached for the scissors but Dola tackled her, and they both fell on the bed.
He testified: “She hit her head on the bed, but because we fell on the mattress I did not realise that she was injured.”
According to Dola, his wife’s last words were “ona umeniumiza (You have hurt me).”
He then took their son for breakfast and left her in bed.
According to Dola, he went to his brother-in-law’s house in a bid to seek a truce with his wife.
After that, Wambui’s brother and Dola went on a drinking spree.
He testified that he was to take his bother-in-law to a baby shower later in the evening of May 1, 2011, and thus they parted ways and he headed back to the house to freshen up.
When he got to the house, the court heard, Wambui was still lying in bed and did not respond when he called her name.