ENVOY HAS IMMUNITY

Widow seeks redress four years after son was killed by envoy

He was hit along the Nakuru-Nairobi Highway while crossing from church

In Summary

• The boy had completed KCSE and scored a C+.
• Company has offered Sh600,000 which her lawyer advised was too little.

Margret Muthoni holds a photo and a KCSE result slip of her son Simon Kariuki at her home in Takinya, Lari constituency
HIT WHILE CROSSING THE ROAD: Margret Muthoni holds a photo and a KCSE result slip of her son Simon Kariuki at her home in Takinya, Lari constituency
Image: GEORGE MUGO

A 56-year-old widow from Kiambu county is appealing to the government to help her get compensation after her son died in an accident involving an Austrian envoy four years ago.

Margaret Muthoni on Monday said she has suffered following up on the case with an insurance company and her lawyer's offices.

She said the case got complicated when she learnt from an insurance company that it's difficult to get compensation from an accident involving an envoy since they enjoy immunity from prosecution.

Muthoni explained that her son Simon Kariuki was hit by a speeding Nissan Patrol registration 21CD7K which was being driven by Reto Eichenberger, an envoy from Vienna.

Kariuki was hit at Kimende along the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway on January 11, 2015, when they were crossing the highway from a nearby Amazing Christian Fellowship Church. 

"We went to Lari police station together with the envoy where statements were recorded and I was issued with an abstract which I was to take to the insurance company," she said.

According to a letter written by her lawyer Gathii Irungu to The Heritage Insurance Company on October 13, 2016, the window was supposed to be compensated with Sh23,660,000.

However, the company offered to give her Sh600,000 which she said the lawyer advised as too little.

"Someone at the company told me that envoys' accident cases are complicated since they do not go through a court process, meaning no one was charged," she said.

"Since I'm poor, at times I do not have bus fare to visit the company or my lawyer's offices," she said at her home in Takinya village in the outskirts of Kimende town in Lari constituency.

 
 

However, she says, her lawyer never asked her any payment, saying she was needy.

Speaking to The Star on phone on Monday, company lawyer Gibson Kamau confirmed they are aware of the case but did not comment much on the matter.

The mother of six revealed that her fifth born son, who scored a C+ in KCSE exam at Bathi Secondary School, wanted to study Mechanical Engineering.

"He used to tell me that he would transform my life from poverty to live in a modern house, buy me a car and start a business," she said.

She is now appealing to the Vienna Embassy, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his government to help her get compensation.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)