Government sued over Moi atrocities
22 April 2013, 14:41
Nairobi - A woman is suing the government for compensation over alleged human rights abuses, including torture by state agencies 30 years ago.
Monica Wangu is seeking damages for pain and suffering she endured at the hands of state agents.
In her petition, Wangu says her rights were infringed for failure to convince her son, who was in political exile in Sweden, to return to Kenya for prosecution.
He son, Koigi Wamwere, was at that time being sought by the then dictatorial regime of former President Daniel Moi over various charges believed to have been trumped up by the state.
Wangu says she was a victim of state-sponsored violence, singling an incident in which her home was burnt down in 1986 in Nakuru in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province.
Through lawyer Gitau Mwara, she has lodged her case at the High Court on Monday.
Mwara claims to have been one of the organisers of a hunger strike in Nairobi between February 28 and March 3, 1992, aimed at compelling the Moi administration to release all political prisoners.
The women, who were supported by environmentalist and Nobel laureate the late Wangari Maathai, were later brutally dispersed by state security agents.
Her case, whose hearing date has not been set, mirrors the case of former Mau Mau freedom fighters who sued the British government over colonial atrocities.
The alleged mistreatment was meted out in 1950s.
Although unwilling to comment on a case that is before courts lawyer Betty Otieno says the Moi regime stands accused for some of the worst human rights violations in Kenya.
“I do not want to directly comment on a matter before court but ideally, going to back to the dark old days of our country, there is more than meets the eye.
"Justice should be done for victims, some of who lost limbs in torture chambers,” she said in an interview in Nairobi.
The court is set to give further direction on the matter this afternoon.
- CAJ News