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Thika Lawyers Boycott Court Proceedings over Colleague’s Murder, Demand For Gun Licences To Protect Themselves.

Lawyers who trade in Thika Town Monday Morning joined their colleagues across the country on a national wide strike to protest the killing of their colleague Willie Kimani and his two companions.

The call of the strike was given by The Law Society of Kenya Chairman Isaack Okero who said that he has already written to heads of various judicial divisions notifying them of the one-week boycott aimed at paralysing court operations across the country.  The lawyers completely boycotted court proceedings as a result of which several cases were adjourned without hearing.

Donned in purple ribbons, the Thika Branch LSK chairperson Ishmael Nguring’a led the group of about 20 attorneys to the Thika Law Courts where they gathered to stage their next course of action. They then proceeded to the Thika West Deputy County Commissioner’s Office where they lodged their displeasure in the way police officers took Kimani’s life and those of the other two people he was with.

Speaking in the DCC’s office, Nguring’a that, as the head of the security team, they paid him the visit to seek an assurance of their safety as well as expressing their protest against the conduct of the AP officer who were directly involved in the heinous act. He added that no lawyer in Thika will attend any court proceedings for the whole of this week.

“We are also taking this opportunity to express our disappointment with your officers on the ground, in the name of the chiefs and their assistants. They have become a law unto themselves by presiding ‘Kangaroo Courts’. The AP officers in those camps are a law unto themselves. These are issues that you need to at Mr. Anjere before hell breaks loose,” said Nguring’a.

Nguring’a pointed out that they had challenges with the police in Thika and the administrators in a great scale and that needed to be addressed.

He said that in the course of the week, they will engage taxi drivers and other people in the transport industry as they visit the officers manning all the security organs to express their displeasure and seek assurance that the lives of every Kenyan was protected.

He pointed out that, as lawyers, they were now more than determined to apply for ammunition as a defense mechanism measure to guard themselves.

“Lawyers are determined (to get guns) because we are dealing with matters, some of which are so controversial. When it gets to a point where the government agents that ought to protect your life is the same one taking your life, you feel that you owe yourself the duty of care to make sure your security is in your hands. That is why we are saying that we are interested in making individual applications and we don’t expect to be antagonised in the process,” he said.

Thika based practitioner Waithera Mwangi said that threats in law cases were common but she herself has been lucky never to have faced any. She narrated how one of her clients was executed immediately after a hearing in such a fashion that exhibited great planning by the executers of that murder.

“One of my client was murdered. He talked to me at around 2:30(pm) and was told to wait for this (land) search until 3:30. That was in the Murang’a Lands Registry. And at 4:30, I was called ‘Your client has been found dead and dumped at Kangari. You can see the time it takes from Murang’a to Kangari. It was a very well executed murder. The security forces compromised it,” said Waithera.

Waithera added that even after writing to the Inspector General of Police on the matter, the most they got was got as at to date was an inquest.

She promised that as the bench, they will continue in their protest until justice for these victims prevails.
On his part, DCC Tom Anjere assured them that he would do all in his ability to ensure their safety. He pleaded with them to let the legal process to take its course

“Let us look at that (Willy’s murder) as a very isolated incident and let’s not make judgements too early. As a chair to the security committee, I am sure we will not support our own officers to go out and perform such kind of killings”, said Anjere.

He told the lawyers that his office will make arrangements to ensure that they were protected during their demonstrations but appealed to them not to allow any hooligans to hijack their protests into breaking the law.

Lawyer Kimani, who was 32, went missing along with his taxi driver and client after a court appointment over a week ago.

Bodies of the three, Willie Kimani (lawyer at International Justice Mission), Josephat Mwenda (client) and Joseph Muiruri (taxi driver) were discovered by villagers when they washed up on Ol Donyo Sabuk River on Thursday and Friday.
They were tied up with ropes, while some had their fingers chopped off and eyes gorged out, an indication that they were tortured before they were killed.
Kimani was representing a boda boda rider (Mwenda) who had sued an Administration Police officer for assault and attempted murder after allegedly shooting at him, leaving him with injuries.

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