“…..i hereby award Mr. Kamiru Chege Kshs 500,000 for the general damage incurred as a result of malicious prosecution” those were the exact words of Ms. Leah W. Kabaria of the High Court of Kenya while delivering the judgment where Mr. Kamiru had been maliciously prosecuted for murder and had spent two and half years at Industrial area.
Mr. Kamiru was arrested year 2005 for the alleged murder of a worker in land row in his village in Muranga County. Without any investigation the owner of the land with whom they bad blood convinced the police that he was the killer and was immediately booked at Gituamba police station. He was later transferred to Industrial area where he had been attending court sessions trying to negotiate the long process of exonerating himself.
He was released in 2010 when the judge found him not guilty of the alleged murder charges. The judge blamed the police for poor investigation and lack of evidence.
Boniface Muinde of Kituo (left) and Kamiru Chege at Kituo head office grounds
Just like many others who have been maliciously prosecuted, Mr. Kameru spend almost 2 years in his home without having the knowledge that he could sue the state for malicious prosecution. However, in 2013, with the help of a friend, he visited Kituo Cha Sheria to seek assistance.
At Kituo, Boniface Muinde assisted him in every way; preparing his pleadings and submissions. Mr. Muinde states that although he was late to seek redress, he offered to help him in that while in prison, he had experience health complications as well as broke his leg. Muinde argued in his submission that the court should allow him to file the case out of the time framework stipulated on the grounds that Mr. Kameru “had lost his mind”. He also cited other things that Kameru had gone through such as loss of income, social stigma and health complications.
Although it took almost a year for the case to come into a closure, Mr. Kameru was pleased with the judgment delivered on 29th August, 2014 although he argues that the amount awarded was too small to compensate the loss he had experienced since 2005. However, Mr. Muinde of Kituo states that Kameru was only awarded general damage as he could not produce evident to show that he had gone through medical expenses or other related facts to warrant him to be award special damages by the court.
Mr. Muinde states that if one has gone through malicious prosecution and later acquitted; one should not wait for one year to lapse as that is the time stipulated by the law within which one can sue the complainant.