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Mother of son killed by cops narrates last moments

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The mother

A cartoon show was playing, it was one of Dancan Githinji’s favourites. But he wasn’t there to watch. He never would be.

Dancan, the only son of Joyce Muthoni and David Njunguna, had been shot by police on Sunday night as they confronted women who were selling chang’aa nearby in  Kahawa West, Soweto, Nairobi.

Was it a stay bullet was he in the wrong place outside his own home?

Dancan was almost three years old. He was the only son and had two sisters.

On Tuesday, his benumbed mother and father sat in their cousin’s mabati single room, trying to grasp what had happened — and why. They wanted answers and they wanted justice.

Muthoni cradled one of her daughters and displayed Dancan’s picture in a pink frame. He husband sat across the room.

They were deflated, struggling to come to terms with the killing, trying to piece together the words. At one point they buried their heads in their hands.

Then their first-born daughter Ciru ran in with a piece of pineapple, offering it to her mother. She didn’t understand what had happened and continued asking where Dancan was.

With everyone so sombre and unresponsive, Ciru threw the fruit on the floor and was scolded by her mother.

“Our daughter keeps asking where Dan is because she last saw him lying in his blood last Sunday. Now he’s not around and no one knows how to tell her anything,” Muthoni said.

“My son was to join kindergarten this  January. Now this will be no more,” Muthoni saidamid long pained causes.

Wanjiru, a neighbour, told the Star that she was the one who tried to get emergency aid to save the boy’s life. But he died on the way to the hospital.

“The mother came and saw the fracas [between cops and women brewers] going on and her child fallen down. But she just sat down, confused and she seemed absent-minded.

“I rushed the kid to Penda health clinic which is not far away, but they turned me away, not agreeing to help,” Wanjiru said.

Then she tried to rush him to Kiambu Level 5 Hospital.

“He died before I reached the hospital, she said.

Reports indicate two officers were raiding illicit brew dens, confronting women brewing chang’aa and pouring it out.

“There was a confrontation between the two women and the armed officers,” a resident claiming to be a witness said.”The women had been following the officers in protest because their brew had been poured out.

“At this point, the officers shot several bullets in the air, one hit a wall, one hit the boy and another narrowly missed a resident,” the resident said.

It was not possible to confirm this account.

The officers are based at Maziwa Police Post.

There were claims that the women had argued with the officers after they failed to give bribes to allow their business to continue, hence, the confiscation and destruction of their livelihood.

Nairobi regional police commander Phillip Ndolo confirmed that the two officers are in custody in connection with the shooting as the DCI and Ipoa probe the matter.

The couple is demanding the officers be prosecuted.

Ndolo dismissed the claims that the officers were collecting bribes from the chang’aa dens.

GORDON OSEN AND EMMY CHIRCHIR/The Star



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