REST IN PEACE

Residents demand justice for Bamba girl found dead in police cell

The teenager, who was 26 weeks pregnant, was buried on Saturday

In Summary

• Senator Madzayo, a former Industrial Court judge, demanded justice for Masha and offered pro bono legal service to the bereaved family.

• Police in riot gear patrolled the neighbourhood as residents demanded action against those responsible for Margaret Masha's death.

 

Ganze NG-CDF Committee secretary Philister Sauti, Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire pay their final respect to Margaret Masha on Saturday.
FAREWELL: Ganze NG-CDF Committee secretary Philister Sauti, Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire pay their final respect to Margaret Masha on Saturday.
Image: ELIAS YAA

"Who killed Margaret Masha?" was the question in many a mourner's lips as the 17-year-old, who died in unclear circumstances at a Kilifi police station was buried on Saturday.

The teenager from Nzovuni village was found dead in a Bamba police station cell on February 4. She was 26 weeks pregnant.

The emotional send-off was attended by hundreds of people among them Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire.

Police in riot gear patrolled the neighbourhood as residents demanded action against those responsible for her death. Police claimed that she committed suicide.

There had been heavy police presence since Friday when the body was removed from the Kilifi county mortuary.

Madzayo demanded justice for Masha and offered pro bono legal service to her family.

“When I heard of Margaret's death, I visited Bamba police station and I can confidently say she did not hang herself. The body was not dangling – it was leaning on a wall with a scarf around the neck. The eyes were closed and this is not symptomatic of suicide cases," the senator said.

He called on the government to shed light on the matter, warning that they will not take accept any cover-up.

Madzayo, who is a former Industrial Court judge, said he will raise the matter in the Senate this week and expects answers from the Interior Cabinet Secretary.

“On Tuesday I will take this matter to the Senate and (Fred) Matiang’i must give us answers. The police station should be a place where people go to get justice and not a place to take the lives of innocent people.” 

He called for the prosecution of officers found culpable.

Mwambire appealed for calm as the matter is investigated. He said the government should not only interdict suspect officers but also compensate the family.

“I am keenly following on this matter and we expect a report from the government pathologist on Monday. We will take action after the results are out."

He questioned why Masha was allowed into the cell with the scarf and shoes yet it is a requirement that when one is locked up in a cell he/she must remove belts and other items.

"Why was the body hurriedly removed from the cell?” Mwambire asked.

Haki Africa's rights activist Mathias Shipeta called on the police to take the responsibility of the teenager's death.

“This is a violation of human rights. We will stand with the family. Masha died in  police custody. They should take responsibility,” Shipeta, who is the organisation's rapid response officer, said.

Former Bamba MCA Daniel Mangi demanded the transfer of all the police officers at the station. He accused the officers of being law offenders instead of law enforcers.

 

 

 

Ganze NG-CDF Committee Secretary Philister Sauti, Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire give their final respect to Margaret Masha before she was burried in Nzovuni on February 23rd
FAREWELL Ganze NG-CDF Committee Secretary Philister Sauti, Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo and Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire give their final respect to Margaret Masha before she was burried in Nzovuni on February 23rd
Image: ELIAS YAA