Court of Appeal upholds seven-year sentence in Kwekwe Mwandaza’s murder case
Police officers killed 14-year-old Kwekwe during a raid at her home in 2014
The Court of Appeal sitting in Mombasa on Friday upheld a judgment by high court last year sentencing two police officers to seven years in jail over their involvement in the killing of 14-year-old Kwekwe Mwandaza.
Court of Appeal judge Asike Makhandia said the two police officers including Kinango District Criminal Investigations Officer Veronicah Gitahi and Issah Mzee violated the National Police Service Act and should serve the sentence.
Judge Makhandia termed the officers misused their firearms and should complete their seven-year jail term.
“The postmortem conducted on the deceased revealed that she was shot twice in the head and once on the chest using a high-velocity rifle; the police did it,” said the judge.
Makhandia said that the Appellate court cannot go against the previous ruling that sentenced the two to a seven-year jail term saying the decision was reached after 13 witnesses testified in the case.
“From the witness account, it is quite clear that the two officers fired shots despite knowing that they were dealing with a minor, intentionally executing Kwekwe in cold blood,” added Makhandia.
In February 12th 2016, Mombasa high court judge Martin Muya sentenced the two police officers to seven years after he reduced the charges to manslaughter.
Muya said the two officers did not indicate in their sworn affidavit that Kwekwe was holding a panga in her hand.
Corporal Issah Mzee in his defense said that Kwekwe broke his gun by cutting it with a panga but when asked to produce the rifle he failed to do so in court.
The death of the 14-year-old and former standard six pupil at Mavirivirini primary school in Kinango in the night of 21st August, 2016 sparked a heated debated on extra judicial killings by police forcing human rights activist to move to court to push for justice for Kwekwe.