Kiambu Governor William Kabogo cleared in Mercy Keino’s death
Magistrate rules she was not a victim of homicide and may have been the author of her own misfortune by wandering onto a busy road drunk
Kiambu Governor William Kabogo yesterday was cleared of any wrongdoing in the death of University of Nairobi student Mercy Keino in 2011.
Magistrate Peter Ndwiga ruled that Keino was not a victim of criminal homicide. Kabogo and five others had been adversely mentioned in an inquest into the death.
Before her death, she and other young women attended a party hosted by Kabogo at Wasini Luxury Apartments, Westlands. She was reported to be drunk and unruly and escorted out.
Her body was found on Waiyaki Way in Nairobi on the night of June 17-18, 2011. It was mutilated and bones had been fractured.
“It is clear the adversely mentioned parties had no motive to harm the deceased,” Ndwiga said. “The adversely mentioned parties have therefore been absolved of blame and cannot be held liable for [Keino’s] death.”
The 45-minute ruling was read in an empty courtroom at the Kehancha law courts in Migori county. Ndwiga heard the proceedings at the Milimani law courts in Nairobi but he was transferred to Kehancha.
Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered a public inquiry to establish how she died after police failed to link any suspect to the death.
Ndwiga said the inquest could not establish how she met her death. Evidence showed she was last seen rushing towards busy Waiyaki Way. Possible cause of death has been ruled a “fatal hit and run road accident”.
“The deceased wandered onto a busy public road in a drunken stupor in the middle of the night and hence may have greatly contributed or may have been the author of her own misfortune,” Ndwiga ruled.
The judgment said CCTV footage screened in the inquest showed Keino was “clearly misbehaving in a drunk, aggressive and violent” manner. Footage showed Keino hitting a guard in the groin when she was restrained from smashing windows, picture frames and bottles.
A witness told the inquest Keino was found in the middle of Waiyaki Way and was pulled to safety but she ran back to the road. That was the last time she was seen alive.
The magistrate said Witness No 5 falsely testified that Kabogo “slapped, kicked and trampled on the deceased”, which was widely reported in the press, but could not be substantiated via CCTV footage. Some 46 witnesses testified in the inquest, which is formally closed.