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Family seeks DPP’s help in securing justice for their injured son

A family in a remote village in Marsabit County has petitioned the government to take appropriate action against a suspect alleged to have scalded their son’s hands with hot water leading to amputation.
The family from Dupsahail Likiminigi village, Kargi location in Loiyangalani sub-county is calling on the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to intervene and have justice done for their 11 year old son.
“I am crying for justice for my son who has since been disabled after his hands were amputated in hospital following the burns he suffered in the cruel hands of a beastly man,” Mrs. Dowate Sambene, the mother appealed.
Preliminary investigations into the incident which has sent the entire county into shock took place on February 9, 2019 after the suspected man grievously assaulted the minor for reportedly stealing maize flour.
A stressed Mrs. Sambene told KNA at her home Friday that the family was at crossroads as apart from the denied justice for their son, they could not manage the ever increasing medical bill at  Consolata Misson Hospital-Nkubu in Meru County.
She said that his parents are aged and have no gainful means of livelihood which could help them settle the hospital bills instead of relying on well-wishers.
Efforts by police to arrest the suspect identified as Iltitiyon Thamalon, 40, on February 10 were thwarted by residents and politicians who stormed Kargi AP Post upon learning of the arrest and forcefully secured his release.
Investigations indicated that that the armed crowd overwhelmed the few officers manning the post with additional report holding an assistant chief culprit.
An administration police officer disclosed that the said assistant chief recorded in the occurrence book that he had instructions from a senior local politician to secure the release of the suspect by whatever means.
Interestingly and a pointer to the rot imbedded in outdated customary practices that the local pastoralist community still cling onto, the officer said the crowd called for the arrest of another suspect in the neighbourhood whom they alleged last year gorged out another man’s eye during a fight but no legal action was taken against him.
It also emerged that many atrocities were being meted on minors with no action being taken against the perpetrators because the community calls for arbitration outside the formal legal system.
Suspected criminals are never arrested because elders use the traditional dispute resolving ways as well as kangaroo courts in seeking redress for the victims.
Reverend David Dabalan of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Kargi said that the suspect who was well known to the boy tied him with a rope before shoving his hands into boiling water in a sufuria.
“The boy was herding goats and sheep when hunger drove him into a makeshift manyatta where herders normally keep food and water,” said Rev Dabalan adding “He found some maize flour and prepared ugali but the owner returned before he ate the meal.”
The owner is said to have tied the boy by the hands and neck and hanged him on a tree then boiled the water and heated a metal rod which he used as assault weapons occasioning the minor injuries all over the body.
A two day search for the boy by family members and villagers found him unconscious in a shrub in the grazing fields that is inhabited by hyenas and other dangerous wild animals.
Marsabit County Police Commander Steve Oloo called for patience as investigations were in progress adding that the suspected criminal on the run would finally be arrested and punished according to the law.
Mr. Oloo expressed concern over the agony the family was undergoing and asked the public to cooperate with the police in securing justice for the victim.
“I am appealing to residents of Kargi to be law abiding,” said the county police commander and warned against unorthodox means like kangaroo courts to shield criminals.
Mr. Oloo said that law enforcement agencies were determined to bring to an end crime meted on innocent children like female genital mutilation (FGM), forced early child marriages and domestic violence which he lamented abounded in the region.
By Sebastian Miriti

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