FOUL PLAY

No autopsy report for family whose daughter died in cells, says hospital

The family now fears the arrangement is a plot to defeat justice.

In Summary

•Kilifi  County Hospital Medical superintendent Eddy Nzomo said the report will only be given to the police and IPOA

•An autopsy was conducted on Thursday and  a report was expected on Friday

Haki Africa deputy executive director Salma Hemed (L)consoles Joyce Masha, mother to the deceased Margaret Masha at the Kilifi county hospital mortuary on Thursday 6th February
AUTOPSY REPORT Haki Africa deputy executive director Salma Hemed (L)consoles Joyce Masha, mother to the deceased Margaret Masha at the Kilifi county hospital mortuary on Thursday 6th February
Image: ELIAS YAA

Kilifi County Hospital medical superintendent Eddy Nzomo has said an autopsy report on the girl who allegedly committed suicide in Bamba police station cells will not be given to the family.

Nzomo said the report will only be given to the police and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.

The family now fears the arrangement is a plot to defeat justice.

"The police are the main suspects yet they are the same people who will have rights to the report. Why are they denying us the report? What are they hiding from us?" Masha Mkoba, the father to the deceased, posed.

The autopsy was done on Thursday afternoon at the Kilifi County Hospital mortuary.

Margaret, 17, died on Tuesday evening at the police station where she had gone to seek consent to live with the family of a man who impregnated her.

The four hours postmortem was witnessed by family members, human rights organisations and IPOA.

The medical superintendent asked family members and the human rights organisations to get the report from either the police or IPOA.

Organisations that were present included Haki Africa, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit, Muhuri, Kilifi Mums Organization and the Kilifi Social Justice Centre

Speaking after the autopsy, Haki Africa deputy executive director Salma Hemed said preliminary investigations revealed the deceased was hit on the left side of her head.

“She had a head injury that caused internal bleeding. The pathologist said the head injury cannot be the cause of death because it did not damage the scalp or the brain. There was evidence of strangling but it could not be established if she hanged herself. The strangling caused suffocation which led to her death,” said Hemed

She also said her fingernails had turned blue, while there were bloodlike spots in her eyes.

“There was blood oozing from her private parts and we thought that she had complications with her pregnancy but after the postmortem, we discovered that her uterus and the baby were intact and there was no sign of complications in the pregnancy.'

"It is suspected there were injuries that caused the bleeding and contributed to her death. The pregnancy was 26 weeks old. The baby was dead,” she added.

Hemed wondered how the girl died in the cells with police officers present at the station.

“How can it be someone hangs herself at the police station without the police hearing any struggle sounds. The body had head injuries, did she hit herself on the wall while hanging herself. Bamba police station must tell us how this happened. We will mobilize all women in the coast region to demonstrate and demand justice for Margaret,” she added

Mohammed Mwalimu from IMLU called for an indepth investigation to establish why the minor was placed in a police cell.

“All the officers present must be investigated to establish how this happened. Police cells should be a place to protect lives but not destroy lives,” Mwalimu said.