- The High Court found him guilty but committed him to special jail detention as an inmate who was mentally infirmed.
- The Court of Appeal, where Kiminza had sought respite, also found him guilty after re-examining the case a fresh and sent him to the special detention.
A man who was convicted of killing his four-year-old son but found to be mentally ill, will be in prison for 30 years or remain in custody and be at the mercy of the president to earn his freedom.
Though Musyoka Kiminza insisted all through the trial that he was sane and denied killing his son—one of his only two children— court initially found him to be mentally ill. It sent him for treatment before he could take plea, and was later brought to resume trial when stabilised.
His mother-in-law Nzilani Musyoka, testified against him and narrated that on February 12, 2007, at about 11am, she was at Kiminza's father's home where she had gone to visit her grandchildren.
On arrival, Kiminza told her to join his (Kiminza's) mother at a nearby school.
Nzilani went to the school, but once she got to the school, Kiminza’s mother told her to return home and wait for her.
Back at the home, Kiminza had locked himself and his children —Muema and Mutheu— in the house. Nzilani then heard Muema screaming inside the house. When Nzilani alongside another person tried to open the door, Kiminza pushed it back, to keep it closed. The person who was with Nzilani then kicked the door which flung open and fell down, and Muema fell on top of it.
Kiminza who was inside the house then ran away. His daughter Mutheu also came out of the house. When they checked on Muema, he was dead.
After Kiminza ran away, people heard the mother-in-law screams and chased him. He was apprehended about 70 metres away, where he went to hide.
Nzilani confirmed that the appellant was married to her daughter for eight years before the wife passed on. She was not aware of his mental status.
Throughout the testimony of all four prosecution witnesses, the man maintained denial, arguing that the person who kicked the door open was the one to blame for the death of the minor, as the door fell on him killing him.
The postmortem report showed that the child’s clothes were blood-stained, and externally, he had a severed trachea at the major vessels of the neck.
Internally, the trachea was severed and the external jugular vein and carotid vein were all cut through. It was his evidence that the cause of death was due to cardio-pulmonary arrest secondary to haemorrhagic shock.
Police officer who responded to the scene of the killing told court that he found the body of the boy lying in a pool of blood, with a deep cut at the throat.
Besides the body, there was a kitchen knife that he collected.
The High Court found him guilty but committed him to special jail detention as an inmate who was mentally infirmed.
The Court of Appeal, where Kiminza had sought respite, also found him guilty after re-examining the case a fresh and sent him to the special detention.
“…when a special finding is made, the court is required to report the case for an order of the President, and in the meantime, order that the accused be kept in custody in such place, and in such manner as the court shall direct. Thereafter, based on regular reports by the officer in charge in respect of the condition, history and circumstances of the person so detained made to the minister responsible for consideration of the President, the accused person’s fate is thereafter left to the President,” the judgment dated November 24, reads.
However, unlike the High Court which had said Kiminza would be jailed indefinitely and exclusively at the mercy of the President, Court of Appeal has now given him 30 years.
“The appellant is sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment, save that he shall serve his term at a mental institution until such time as the psychiatrist in charge shall be satisfied that he is well enough and has certified that he is no longer a danger to society or to himself. Depending on the term served by then, he shall either be transferred back to prison to complete his term or be discharged.”