1,133 is not just a number

Image: 
Mbugua Mureithi
3.3K

We have put our strongest case and hope for the best, says victims lawyer

8 March 2019 - 17:03

By Susan Kendi and Sarah Nyakio

Mbugua Mureithi has won notoriety and admiration in equal measure for his work as a human rights lawyer. Named the 2014 winner of the prestigious Jurist of the Year Award for his role in promoting human rights and the defence of people suspected of involvement in terrorism, Mureithi is the lawyer for 15 petitioners seeking justice for police shootings that took place during the post-2007 election violence.

As an advocate of the High Court of Kenya since 2007, he has represented controversial clients such as slain of Muslim clerics Aboud Rogo and Abubaker Shariff Ahmed alias Makaburi as well as nine former Kenya Air Force officers who complained of brutal arrest and inhuman treatment during the 1982 attempted coup, winning a Sh19 million compensation award.

In an exclusive interview with Journalists for Justice (JFJ)’s Sarah Nyakio and Susan Kendi, Mureithi speaks about what the victims and petitioners in the police shootings case hope the High Court in Kisumu can deliver.

JFJ: Who is Advocate Mbugua Mureithi?

Mureithi: For this particular case, I am the advocate of the petitioners. I have practised as a human rights lawyer for 21 years and I have also worked for human rights organizations like the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and Kituo Cha Sheria where I specialized in human rights litigation. I have been in private practice since 2006.

JFJ: How many years have you practised as a human rights lawyer?

Mureithi: I have been a human rights lawyer for many years. I started practising in 1998. I have continued litigating human rights issues even now that I am in private practice.

JFJ: What are some of the challenges you face as a human rights lawyer?

Mureithi: First, human rights cases are by their very nature difficult: you are dealing with people whose rights have been violated and who, by themselves, cannot finance the costs of the litigation process.  Second, at times you are dealing with courts that are not readily appreciative of where you are coming from. Third, a lot of work needs to be put into good human rights litigation. Last, sometimes you ultimately don't get the fruits of your litigation in good time.

JFJ: How did you become an advocate for Petition 18/2014?

Mureithi: I was approached by organizations that brought together the victims of the 2007 post-election violence from this region (Kisumu) who asked me to represent them. This was particularly the first petitioner; Citizens Against Violence (CAVI), and the second petitioner; The Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU).

JFJ: What difficulties have you faced since you filed the petition in 2014?

Mureithi: Except for the usual challenges of preparing for this kind of huge petition, the challenges have not been major really. It's not easy. Personally, I've been required to travel to Kisumu a lot to meet the petitioners, to meet their witnesses and prepare them for their court.

We have faced challenges with the court system in the sense that there has been [staff] changes and the judges who have been handling this case from time to time and that has affected the progress of the case. Probably, were it not for the changes occurring in the High Court in Kisumu, the case would have been completed much early.

I am not saying those were factors that were targeted against this case. Such is simply the nature of the business of the court. Judges were transferred, and there were also occasions when the trial judge was committed to the 2017 election petitions before she was subsequently transferred from the Kisumu High Courts.

JFJ: Since you filed the case how many times have the judges changed?

Mureithi: Probably three times. When we first came here, the matter went before Hon Justice David Majanja, who could not hear it as he was part of the secretariat of the Waki Commission that investigated the post-election violence]. Therefore, he transferred the case to Lady Justice Maina. Lady Justice Maina took up an election court after the 2017 elections and was thereafter transferred from Kisumu High Court. The matter is now before Justice Fred Ochieng.

JFJ: What would justice for victims of the 2007 Post-Election Violence police shooting look like?

Mureithi: First, justice, in this case, will entail getting orders holding the police accountable for the violence meted out against my clients (the petitioners) through the excessive use of firearms.

Second, a declaration on whether adequate and prompt investigations were done after the shootings that left some of my clients maimed or their relatives dead.

Ultimately, justice must take the form of compensation for the victims of those who lost their lives and for those who survived to live with unforgettable scars of the unlawful shootings.

JFJ: How do you manage the victims’ expectations as their lawyer?

Mureithi: Well, I think from my experience one of the things you don't do is you don't guarantee success. If you went through that path you would end up a very frustrated lawyer.

I have made it very clear to the petitioners and the victims that all that is expected of us is to do our best. They do their best as witnesses, as petitioners, and I do the best as counsel. The rest we leave it to the court. Since I'm not the judge. I can't predict which way the case will go but we believe we have put our strongest case and so we hope for the best. Nevertheless, we also prepare to live with whatever judgment the court will pronounce.

JFJ: What’s your take on extrajudicial killings/police reforms in Kenya?

Mureithi: Extrajudicial killings are one of those permanent and ugly spots in the history of this country. Extrajudicial killings are unlawful, unconstitutional but unfortunately, they are an accepted way of life in this country. One is that Kenyans generally despite in the laws, the Constitution and the regular laws; killing without due process is unlawful then we have the other level; where Kenyans accept extrajudicial killings. Therefore, there is a dichotomy between what the law says and what the people have internalized as part of their lives.

If you carried out an opinion poll today in the streets of Kisumu on whether, for example, “a thief should be killed”, you might find the Yes in the majority. The police appear to operate on the basis of that misinformed public opinion that it is right for them to kill at will and for as flimsy grounds as protection of property, so my position is that; the police are wrong to kill people especially those who are unarmed and do not pose any danger to the officers. The police are also wrong in not reversing that policy, the unsaid policy that it is okay to kill. That should be removed from the mentality of the police totally. Kenyans are also wrong in quickly believing that the extrajudicial killing of criminals is justified. Hence, everybody is wrong and the only institution that is right is the law. The law speaks a different language from what the police and the people of Kenya speak.

JFJ: What’s your take on the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA)?

Mureithi: Well, I think convictions do not necessarily signify the success of an institution or the lack of success of an institution. So, if they have managed to get some convictions, we should appreciate them for that and we should commend them for that. A lot of police malpractice went unpunished and a lot of that misconduct was unaccounted for. Therefore, IPOA is doing something. In the context of the present case, I think the position I take is that it is still open for IPOA to investigate the incidences of post-election violence because we regard the un-redressed grievances of victims of post-election violence as continuing human rights violations. The fact that they have never found a resolution for what happened in 2007-2008, they have never been accorded any remedies, any reliefs, means the violations still continue.

I differ with IPOA when they think they should be held accountable for only those crimes that happened after they were constituted in 2012. They should consider the plight of the post-election violence victims as a continuing human rights violation.

Share your thoughts

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Comments

<a href=https://www.forbroundtable.org>freedom of religion</a>
<a href=https://www.vegas11.games>vegas11</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://exchanger24.org/>Exchanger24</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://www.autonomospymes.com/crear-una-empresa>Como crear tu empresa</a> Autonomos Pymes asesoria online slp somos una sociedad profesional de economistas y un punto de atencion a emprendedores especializados en crear empresas online en Espana. Para crear una empresa sl tan solo debes ponerte en contacto con nosotros. El coste de crear una empresa sociedad limitada online es de tan solo 290 euros mas iva incluyendo los gastos de constitucion necesarios para la empresa sl. Puedes crear una empresa en Madrid, Barcelona, valencia o en cualquier localidad de Espana.
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://rich-dragon.com/>魔龍傳奇</a>
<a href=https://www.didinhcu.vn/dau-tu-dinh-cu-my/> du học định cư mỹ</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
Autonomos Pymes asesoria online slp somos una sociedad profesional de economistas y un punto de atencion a emprendedores especializados en crear empresas online en Espana. Para crear una empresa sl tan solo debes ponerte en contacto con nosotros. El coste de crear una empresa sociedad limitada online es de tan solo 290 euros mas iva incluyendo los gastos de constitucion necesarios para la empresa sl. Puedes crear una empresa en Madrid, Barcelona, valencia o en cualquier localidad de Espana.
<a href=https://rich-dragon.com/>魔龍傳奇</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://rich-dragon.com/>魔龍傳奇</a>
<a href=https://g.page/r/CRJ1pjfBfYk7EAE>娛樂城</a>
Autonomos Pymes asesoria online slp somos una sociedad profesional de economistas y un punto de atencion a emprendedores especializados en crear empresas online en Espana. Para crear una empresa sl tan solo debes ponerte en contacto con nosotros. El coste de crear una empresa sociedad limitada online es de tan solo 290 euros mas iva incluyendo los gastos de constitucion necesarios para la empresa sl. Puedes crear una empresa en Madrid, Barcelona, valencia o en cualquier localidad de Espana.
Valuable information. Fortunate me I discovered your web site by accident, and I'm shocked why this twist of fate didn't took place earlier! I bookmarked it. My web blog: Kucoin - http://netexchange.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=qcyxdy.66rt.com%2Fspace.php%3Fuid%3D1615188%26do%3Dprofile
<a href=https://laptopmarket.az>dell noutbuklar</a>
<a href=https://www.autonomospymes.com/crear-una-empresa>Constituir una empresa</a> Autonomos Pymes asesoria online slp somos una sociedad profesional de economistas y un punto de atencion a emprendedores especializados en crear empresas online en Espana. Para crear una empresa sl tan solo debes ponerte en contacto con nosotros. El coste de crear una empresa sociedad limitada online es de tan solo 290 euros mas iva incluyendo los gastos de constitucion necesarios para la empresa sl. Puedes crear una empresa en Madrid, Barcelona, valencia o en cualquier localidad de Espana.
娛樂城
娛樂城
娛樂城
<a href=https://128.199.72.118/>freespin123</a>
娛樂城
<a href=https://rg888.org/>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://casinosite119.com>casinosite</a> 온라인 카지노 가입 상담 전문 컨설팅 온라인 카지노를 처음 접하신 분들은 카지노 게임 플레이를 즐기고 싶은데 어디서 어떻게 해야 되는지 많은 고민이 될 것 입니다. 고민의 종류로는 카지노 게임을 플레이 후 환급 처리에 관한 문제, 온라인 카지노는 어떠한 방식으로 이용하는지 대한 문제, 온라인 카지노를 이용 시 나에게 오는 피해는 없을지 많은 것을 생각하게 됩니다. 따라서 어떻게 해야 좋은 선택 인지를 많이 고민합니다. 본사와 상담 후 카지노 사이트 가입을 추천 드리고 있습니다. 온라인 카지노를 이용 함으로써 나에게 오는 악 영향은 없을지 왜 많은 사람들은 온라인 카지노를 플레이 하는지, 온라인 카지노를 믿을 수 있는지 모든 것을 본사에서 상담하여 드리고 있습니다. 본사에서 안내해드리는 카지노사이트 는 모두 100% 검증이 되었고 안전한 곳만을 안내하여 드리고 있습니다.
<a href=https://rg888.org/>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://alumni.mahidol.ac.th/AlumniEngagement/upload/memilih-slot-pragmatic-online-sebagai-agen-slot-terpercaya/>pragmatic</a>
<a href=https://uhamka.ac.id>islam berkemajuan</a> A university that exemplifies a prophetic attitude
<a href=https://uhamka.ac.id>islam berkemajuan</a> A university that exemplifies a prophetic attitude
I enjoy looking through a post that can make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment! my blog - slot 88 - https://lican.as.arizona.edu/~ehtsim/index.php/Usul_Supaya_Menang_Di_Permainan_Slots_Online
<a href=https://petmoz.org/>best sand for turtle tank</a>
<a href=https://petmoz.org/>best sand for turtle tank</a>
A university that exemplifies a prophetic attitude
<a href=https://rg888.org/>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://shopdoithe.net>đổi thẻ cào thành tiền mặt</a>
<a href=https://shopdoithe.net>đổi thẻ cào thành tiền mặt</a>
Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses? If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it's driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated. my webpage; daftar cmd368 - http://qooh.me/wormcorn1
Hi there mates, nice paragraph and nice urging commented here, I am really enjoying by these. My website ... ibc9 login - http://uvvjs.oynxym.forum.mythem.es/aankleven/bulto/gospelist/doodvalt/
<a href=https://rg888.org/>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://rg888.org/>娛樂城</a>
<a href=https://www.kens.or.kr:4450/bbs/link.html?code=notice&number=69&url=http%3a%2f%2ffreelanceshop.org>https://www.kens.or.kr:4450/bbs/link.html?code=notice&number=69&url=http%3a%2f%2ffreelanceshop.org</a> <a href=https://old.mordgpi.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=click_to_call&event2=&event3=&goto=https://freelanceshop.org/>https://old.mordgpi.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=click_to_call&event2=&event3=&goto=https://freelanceshop.org/</a> <a href=http://board.scadminpanel.de/member.php?action=profile&uid=257563>http://board.scadminpanel.de/member.php?action=profile&uid=257563</a> <a href=http://lettres.clg.free.fr/spip.php?action=converser&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ffreelanceshop.org>http://lettres.clg.free.fr/spip.php?action=converser&redirect=http%3a%2f%2ffreelanceshop.org</a> <a href=https://www.agroinvestor.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=click_to_call&event2=&event3=&goto=https://freelanceshop.org/>https://www.agroinvestor.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?event1=click_to_call&event2=&event3=&goto=https://freelanceshop.org/</a> <a href="http://medendo.ru/news/vebasist/malenkiy-rebenok-bez-truda-opredelyaet-emotsii-vzroslykh/#comment22474">дизайн сайта новосибирск</a> d213dbd
<a href=https://lianozovo.mos.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?goto=https://freelanceshop.org/>https://lianozovo.mos.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?goto=https://freelanceshop.org/</a> <a href="http://www.shawnbrown.xyz/hello-world#comment-8915">Дизайн сайта новосибирск</a> 7c76775
<a href=https://parboaboa.com/berita-crypto>berita crypto</a> berita crypto
<a href=https://store.starline.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?goto=https://freelanceshop.org/>https://store.starline.ru/bitrix/redirect.php?goto=https://freelanceshop.org/</a>
<a href=https://betcitypro.ru/>betcity android скачать</a> Betcity скачать

Pages