A man aged 59 who was remanded for three years for a crime he never committed has finally been freed by an Eldoret court for lack of evidence.
Samwel Kisang a resident of Ngeria village in Uasin Gishu County was incarcerated for the duration before being found “not guilty” by Eldoret Senior Resident Magistrate (SRM), Douglas Moseti on March 21, 2019.
Kisang finally walked out of the Eldoret GK prison and vowed to seek justice for wrongful confinement. He has already filed a petition at the Court of Appeal through an organization that champions for human rights.
Kisang was locked up on March 2, 2016 after being accused for aiding a prisoner, Paul Wanyama Silali to escape from Ngeria Farm Prison contrary to section 124(a) of the penal code, a crime he says he didn’t commit.
The police officers who arrested Kisang failed to appear in court when required to testify. The matter got more confounding when the escapee he was alleged to have assisted said he had never met Kisang and had not been assisted by him to escape from lawful custody.
Kisang who operated charcoal business at Ngeria shopping centre said he had just arrived at his house at around 10am from his workplace when 14 officers from Kiambaa station came knocking on this door demanding to have his mobile phone.
The officers brought along a prisoner whom they arrested while attempting to escape from custody and asked him (prisoner) to identify if Kisang was the one he had communicated with on phone before attempting to escape, said Kisang.
He added that the prisoner told the police he had been assisted by one Samuel Chepkwony to escape and not Samuel Kisang but the officers went ahead to arrest him.
Kisang said he had never met the prisoner and had never called him yet the police officers refused to listen to his pleas of innocence even after going through his phone call records.
He was remanded when he denied committing the offence and was only released for lack of evidence by the court.
Kisang was welcomed home to painful news of the death of his second born child who committed suicide and two of his children who disappeared from home while he was in prison.
His wife, Juliana Cheborisa tearfully narrated how police officers forced their way into their house and injured her in the process of arresting her husband.
She said life for her and her children became difficult after the arrest of her husband. “The children suffered a great deal and were even forced to do odd jobs to survive,” she lamented.
Juliana said she even had to sell the only small piece of land they had so that she could pay loans she had taken for the sake of the children.
A programme officer at the Centre against Torture, Kimutai Kirui blamed the police for doing shoddy investigations that led to the malicious prosecution and incarceration of an innocent man.
He wondered why nothing was done to prison officers at Ngeria Farm Prison who were on duty when the prisoner escaped and accused the police of going for a soft target instead of doing a thorough job.
Kirui urged the new Inspector General Police Service, Hillary Mutyambai and Attorney General, Paul Kariuki to intervene so that Kisang is compensated for being subjected to torture for a crime he never committed.
Kirui said their organization would follow up on the matter to ensure Kisang and his family gets justice.
By Kiptanui Cherono