Director of Public Prosecutions wants probe into boy’s shooting

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 00:00 |
Family and friends of Yassin Moyo inter his body at Kariokor Muslim Cemetery in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

“I played my role and ensured my family was indoors before 7pm. Despite taking all the necessary precautions, my son was shot dead in the safety of our balcony. This is the single worst experience I have gone through in my life.”

Those are the words of Hussein Moyo, the father of a 13-year-old boy whose life was snuffed out by a single bullet shot by a police officer on Monday night, while standing at the balcony of their house in Kiamaiko, Nairobi.

Yassin Hussein Moyo, a Class Eight pupil, becomes the third victim to die due to police recklessness and brutality in enforcing the State-imposed curfew orders.

National Police Service (NPS) headquarters has termed the shooting as unintended; a case of a stray bullet and conveyed condolences to the family.

However, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) has directed police to thoroughly and urgently investigate the fatal shooting even as the father of the deceased says it will not be easy living with the loss.

As the family was waiting for supper, they decided to watch what was happening outside from the balcony of their house on the second floor.

The deceased’s elder sister Aisha Moyo, 19, said they heard gunshots and they could see some police officers about 20 metres away.

“After the second gunshot, our mother told us to take cover and immediately Yassin said ‘Allah, nimegongwa’ as he walked inside,” Aisha said.

Sign forms

They then realised that he was bleeding from the right side of the stomach. 

“He said he could not breathe properly and I checked his mouth and removed a chewing gum he had been chewing,” added Aisha.

She then called their father who was watching news at a friend’s house, about 25 metres away.

Hussein (pictured, below) said he also heard the gunshots but was not worried as his family was safely in the house and the gate to the two-storey building had been locked.

“I received a call from my daughter and she was crying. She informed me that Yassin had been shot and the first question I asked was whether they had left the house,” the father told People Daily at the Mama Lucy Hospital.

The father left his friend’s house and proceeded to his residence where he found neighbours had gathered. His son had been rushed to the hospital.

“We went to two dispensaries but they said the situation was serious and they could not handle it,” said Ali Hussein, one of the neighbours who rushed the injured boy to the hospital.

After failing to get help, they decided to report to Huruma Police Station before proceeding to Mama Lucy hospital. 

More appalling, however, was that when neighbours drove with the injured boy to the police station to report, the officers told them to wait at the parking as the OCS was not around.

“We went to the police station and briefed them. They instead told us to wait for the OCS.

Since the boy was bleeding, we decided to leave for the hospital,” Ali, the neighbour, said.

The father managed to get a vehicle and joined the rest at the hospital.

“The doctors told me that the boy had to be taken to the theatre. They gave me some forms, which I filled.

At around 9pm, the boy was taken to the theatre. The long wait, seven hours, characterised by emptiness and anxiety began,” he said.

“I could not relax and no one was communicating to us. The hospital compound was deserted and there were a few people who had been discharged or treated but could not leave the compound due to the curfew.

At around 2am I went to inquire about the progress but I was not given any information,” he added.

Lose fight

“At around 4am, a guard at the hospital approached me where I was standing alone and asked whether I was the father of the boy who was in the theatre,” said the boy’s father.

The guard then escorted him inside where they broke the sad news to him. His son had lost the fight.

Police headquarters had initially reported that the shooting was unintended, and termed it a case of stray bullet but preliminary investigations indicate that the officer could have intentionally aimed at and shot the boy.

“The Inspector General of Police has directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to inquire into the death of a 13-year-old boy who was hit by a stray bullet last night in Huruma,” Police Headquarters tweeted.

Initial probe also ruled out a case of aerial shooting, commonly used in dispersing unlawful and aggressive mobs.

The fatal shooting came just hours after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya issued a joint statement confirming incidents where law enforcers had fallen short of required standards.

“The meeting acknowledged that on the first day of the nationwide curfew there had been incidents where law enforcement officers fell short of the required standard.

It was further noted that those instances are under investigation and appropriate action would be taken,” said Matiang’i.

Undertake analysis

The bullet hit the boy from the right side of the stomach but lodged. The bullet head was recovered during the autopsy and will be subjected to ballistic examinations.

A postmortem was conducted by pathologists Andrew Gachie and Charles Muturi and was attended by three investigators from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa), family members and detectives led by the Starehe Sub-county deputy DCI boss.

“The DCI has further been directed to undertake forensic analysis of all firearms held by officers who were on duty that night within Huruma area. Our sincere condolences to the family,” police headquarters said.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji yesterday directed the police boss Hilary Mutyambai to urgently probe the shooting and forward the file to his office for directions.

“Thoroughly but urgently investigate reported incident of shooting of 13-year-old boy at Kiamaiko, Mathare, and forward the file to my office for appropriate direction,” said Haji.

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