As they say, justice delayed is justice denied. For the family of Ivy Wangeci, a Moi University medical student who was hacked to death using an axe on April 9, 2019, it has been a case of delayed justice.
For the fifth time, the murder trial of a man accused of brutally killing Wangeci was postponed at the Eldoret High Court.
This was after the accused, Naftali Kinuthia’s lawyer Henry Kenei withdrew from the case at the last minute. In withdrawing from the case, Kenei cited frustrations from the accused.
Among other reasons, Kenei says that Kinuthia has not been listening to him and has been making unreasonable demands that cannot be met professionally.
Consequently, Justice Stephen Githinji said that the case cannot proceed without the accused being represented, ordering another pro bono lawyer be appointed to represent Kinuthia.
This bearing in mind that in November 2020, Kinuthia’s initial lawyer Mbiu Kamau stepped down, forcing the office of the Chief Justice and the Pro Bono Service Committee to appoint Kenei to represent him.
Ivy Wangeci family frustrated
The victim’s lawyer, Kiroko Ndegwa, vented his frustrations in the manner the case was been dragged for too long.
“Your honour, we have been prepared to get to the trial of the case and the case has been postponed on several occasions. We even came with the witnesses who were ready to testify before the court,” said Ndegwa.
The family of Wangeci now says Kinuthia is deliberately delaying the case, with her mother Waithera King’ori saying accused persons have a right but not the victims.
“Since 2019, I have always wished I was born in another country where there is justice. What I have learned through this process is that the accused people in the cells have got rights, but the victims have no rights and that is why nobody cares about the emotional or financial distress you go through,” King’ori said.
Kinuthia, then 28-year-old, is accused of travelling all the way from Thika to Eldoret, where he waylaid Wangeci-then a sixth year medical student- outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret town, hacking her to death.
The case will be mentioned on June 9, 2021.