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Slain journalist’s family goes to court to seek compensation after 17 years

3 min read

After waiting in vain for close to a decade, the family of slain freelance journalist whose death was connected to the Rwanda genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga, has now resorted to court for redress.

The journalist William Munuhe was found dead in his rented apartment in Karen, Nairobi on January 17, 2003.

GENOCIDE

His death was linked to his actions of helping the arrest of Mr Kabuga, the mastermind of Rwanda genocide which saw close to a million people dead in a just 100 days.

The family has now moved to court seeking to have the state compelled to declare the fugitive, who is still at large, dead or alive and proceed to compensate the family should he be declared dead.

Mr Munuhe’s brother Josephat Muriithi Gichuhi, on behalf of the family, instituted a civil suit before the High Court in Nakuru in December 2, 2020 accusing the government of derailing investigations and denying their kin justice.

Mr Mureithi, in the suit, claims the government has failed to investigate and unravel the mystery surrounding his brother’s death.

He has faulted the government for failing to conduct a public inquest that may lead to the arrest of those behind Mr Munuhe’s death.

According to Mr Mureithi, the government has remained adamant in pursuing the case despite the fact it is blamed for failing to offer protection of his brother whom he claims was murdered in the line duty as a crime reporter.

RESPONDENTS

“The plaintiff seeks orders that the Rwanda Fugitive Felicien Kabuga be declared dead or live to clear the air and for public interest. We also seek orders that the state be compelled to compensate the plaintiff for the loss, pain and torture as required by the law,” read part of the document.

The family has listed the Interior Principal Secretary, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Directorate of Public Prosecution, the Inspector General of Police as respondents in the case.

The Principal Civil Registrar in the Immigration department and the Attorney general have also been sued.

Mr Munuhe is reported to have offered to help the FBI arrest Mr Kabuga, a Rwandese tycoon alleged to have financed the 1994 genocide.

On the day the journalist was killed in January 14, 2003, he was supposed to meet the suspect to allow the FBI an opportunity to nab him through a sting operation.

However, the FBI agents working with the detectives from the Special Crime Prevention Unit laid an ambush at his residence but the fugitive did not show up.

SUICIDE THEORY

It was only after three days when the detectives broke into his house to discover his decomposing body that was retrieved from his bedroom floor where it was lying in a pool of blood.

His body was disfigured using a corrosive acid with indications that he was shot.

The Police spokesman Mwangi Kingor’i said the journalist had committed suicide.

The family has however dismissed the theory insisting that their kin was murdered.

Mr Muriithi told the court that his efforts to have the suspects brought to book and justice served to the family have been frustrated by the police.

He claims to have written to various offices in the relevant ministries and also the DCI and DPP but has received no response.

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