Court faults officers over girl’s killing

Thursday, March 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Stephanie Moraa during the chaos that rocked the August 2017 General-Election. Photo/PD/COURTESY

A Nairobi court has faulted the police for covering up for one of their own who shot and killed Stephanie Moraa during the chaos that rocked the August 2017 General Elections.

In his ruling, Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi while closing the inquest on the matter, laid the blame for the murder of eight-year-old Stephanie squarely on the police saying they deliberately shot at an innocent child.

The eight-year-old Stephanie was allegedly fatally shot by police as she played on the balcony of their rental house in Mathare North Area 2, Nairobi on August 12.

Code of silence

Andayi faulted the police for using the famous blue code of silence in matter when an innocent life was lost.  

He ruled that the death of Stephanie is a reflection of what happens during every election cycle in Kenya with innocent lives taken away by trigger happy police who know that they will be protected by their own.

The magistrate accused police of adopting a code of silence by refusing to provide any incriminating information about their colleagues with a view to covering up the wrongdoings of fellow officers.

 “An innocent child standing at the balcony of the parents’ residence not even aware of what it entails for one to win or lose an election leave alone participating in a demonstration, pays the ultimate price, death,” said the magistrate.

Andayi said unfortunately the officer who took away Stephanie’s life cannot be brought to book because he is under the protection of the blue code.

 He noted that if police were keen to solve the murder, they can find the officer who shot at her in a day.

“I am almost certain that if the police service wished to identify and bring to book the officer who took away the life of Stephanie Moraa Gisemba, it would not take them a day to do so,” ruled Andayi. 

However, the Magistrate forwarded the file to the DPP for necessary action after finding that Stephanie was killed by one of the police officers on duty in Mathare.  

“I find that the death of the deceased was by deliberate shooting by a police officer whose identity has been frustrated by police officers covering for one another under the blue code of silence,” ruled the magistrate. 

The magistrate also applauded the Independent Policing Oversight Authority for taking up these cases and bringing them to the public even through their efforts are being frustrated by the blue code.

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