Court Awards $15000 To A Man Forced To Spend A Night Alone With Corpse

A Kenyan court has directed the government to pay $15000 to a 32-year-old widower who was compelled to spend a night with his wife’s body at a parking lot.

Charles Mwenda, in May last year, was intercepted on his way to Meru, Eastern Kenya, from Malindi, coastal part of the country, as he was ferrying the body of his wife to be laid to rest. Police arrested him and other mourners on the grounds they were traveling past curfew hours against Covid-19 restrictions.

While other mourners were forced to return to Malindi, Mwenda spent an entire night alone with his wife’s casket at a local police station, Kianjai Police Post, the act that triggered a national uproar.

In his ruling, Justice Edward Muriithi found the security officers guilty of treating the petitioner inhumanly. The Justice said he did not warrant the treatment even if they had violated the Covid-19 protocols.

“An order is hereby issued that the actions by the police under the national police service headed by the first respondent violated the provisions of the Constitution under Articles 3,4,10,19,25,28 and 29 and thus infringed on the rights to dignity, protection against torture and cruel, inhuman degrading treatment of the petitioner under the Bill of rights of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” said Justice Muriithi.

“The respondent’s actions do not reflect a just and democratic society governed by the rule of law. The petitioner has indeed set out a strong case for violation of his constitutional rights,” he added.

Mwenda’s lawyer, Vivian Wambulwa, welcomed the ruling.

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