Dec 9, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

“Those police officers killed Susan Wanjiku,” cries witness to brutal assault

A place near one of the vendors is littered with leftover French fries, a plate lid, an empty plastic jar with body cream, mango peels, a bottle cap and a bag of tablets.

These are the only objects speaking of the last days of 50-year-old Susan Wanjiku, a street mother.

When she last met this writer on Tuesday, Susan was lying on the cobblestones, the upper half of her body in the shadow of one under construction Building. The lower part was on the sidewalk, covered with a maroon scarf. She had propped her head with her right hand, her left arm clasped to her chest.

Now her cold body is lying on a sink in City Mortuary, clad in a black top and skirt. Her hands are on her head as if she is stretching, and a white ribbon is tied around her left leg.

Three mortuary attendants, all women, say they found the body when she went to work came tomorrow. The body had been taken to the morgue by the police and its identity was unknown. Her fingerprints were taken to identify her.

Hard floor

On the hard floor, Susan announced that she had been lying there since Monday night and couldn’t move because of chest pain and aching limbs . She begged for pain medication and paused long before she could utter individual words.

She remembered being in front of the Jamia Mosque when the police rounded up her and other women and forced them to stand up the street. Shortly thereafter, they were packed into the back of a police pickup truck, some with children strapped to their backs, and taken to the central police station. It was around 7:30 p.m.

They had to sit on the floor behind the reception desk at the ward, said Mary Karambu, a street mother who was sitting next to Susan. It was already dark when the two of them were taken out, and those who went out before them never went back in.

“We just heard them scream. When it was our turn, Susan and I were shown outside, behind a canteen, where we met three female and six male police officers. One of the women was wearing a hijab. They wore gloves, nettles and a bucket of water, “says Ms. Wambui.

” We were ordered to take off all of our clothes and were hit with the nettles, which make the body itch uncontrollably. As it was dark, three males had torches and the females stuck their fingers in our genitals. “

Susan was released before Mary. The next day, Ms. Karambu said, she saw them sleeping under the building on Kimathi Street, but when she called them she didn’t answer.

Other women arrested next to the duo were 35 -year-old Alice Wambui, Amina Chemtai and Lucy Khadija. They all had children.

Ms. Wambui, a street vendor and single mother of six, was on her way to a Naivas store near City Market that same evening when she met an old friend, who asked her to go with her and help one of her little children to hold her hand.

“Suddenly there was a commotion and people were running in all directions. I was in the thick of it and when I tried to defend myself I was told to sit down and be silent. My one-year-old child was strapped to my back, “says Ms. Wambui.

Thrown into the truck

She was thrown into the truck with her child and luggage, and after the ordeal, she would end up wearing someone else’s underwear.

Ms. Chemtai was collecting money from her carousel group members when she spotted a crowd of women in front of the Jamia Mosque.

As she thought, that the women were getting some form of help, she put her money in her pocket and walked towards the crowd. Next, a policeman grabbed her arm and said, “Ndiye huyu mwingine”, before dragging her to the truck.

“My child feels sore from being in the truck At the train station, where we had to sit down, we were ordered to detach our children from their backs and hold them. A station officer came to find out what was going on, but was turned away, “says Ms. Chemtai.

“When the two of us were taken out, we were told that we would be interviewed and that we would be housed in vacant houses in Ruai. I was hit with the plants and cold water poured over me as a male officer did Torch held at me. “

At the time of arrest, Ms. Khadija, 34, had just finished her evening at 7 p.m. prayer.

” They stuck their fingers in us and said they were wanted to check if we were commercial sex workers, after the beatings they released us and most of us retired on the S “They never told us why we were arrested, but we thought they suspected we were beggars. Even then, I’m not. I sell mats and when the day is up I do my evening sala and go home to Mathare. ”

She added that of the 10 women arrested, four were elderly and that the oldest child was one Year old was old.

“I know the faces of all these officers and can identify them,” she adds.

But the three women said they had difficulty getting the incident up Report to police stations.

“I went back to report the attack to the central police station, but was turned away by a policewoman. She said she did not want the incident to be brought up again and that I should keep quiet about it because we were forgiven and released, “said Ms. Wambui.

” I still don’t understand what I am was forgiven for not committing a crime. ”

She added that she visited the Pangani Police Station on Wednesday morning. Ms. Khadija and Ms. Chemtai went to the Kamukunji Police Station that afternoon.

“Susan was unable to come with us to file the complaint. She couldn’t even get up. Even then, we were unsuccessful as we were told to report the matter to another police station, “says Khadija.


She swore Susan was fine and healthy on Sunday evening. They met in front of the mosque and Susan even asked Ms. Khadija to bring her a cup of tea.

“She got sick after the incident. These cops killed Susan, but there isn’t much we can do because we fear they might be after us, “says Khadija.

” She told us she has two daughters, but we know their not names nor where they live. We are just sad that she suffered her death in an unworthy manner and that she could be buried undignified if not claimed. “

Central Police Station Deputy OCPD Dorris Mugambi said She is herself Unaware of the incident as she did not receive a report.

“I am not aware that the police should have tried to see the senior officers if they had turned them away. This is the only way we can find out the truth. I cannot completely deny that and at the same time I cannot answer because I am not privy to this information, “she said.

She added,” We have no autopsy results to confirm the death of this one Mother was caused by injury. So at this point I can only say that it is a rumor. Have these women come and file a complaint, and if that actually happens, an investigation will be launched, ”said Ms. Mugambi.