Success Story of Mwangi Njangu

succes-story

Mwangi Njangu Vs. Meshack Mbogo Wambugu Civil Appeal No. 239 Of 1990

Background of the Suit

Our Client was the Appellant herein Mwangi Njagu. On or around 9th February 1976, our Client entered into a sale agreement with one Sophia Nyakweya in which it was agreed that the our Client would sell One (1) acre out of all that piece of land known as L.R. NO. KONYU/BARICHO/695 for a consideration of Kenya Shillings Fourteen Thousand (Kshs.14,000/-). The said Sophia Nyakweya paid our Client the sum of Kenya Shillings Twelve Thousand Five Hundred (Kshs.12, 500/-) and a balance of Kenya Shillings One Thousand Five Hundred (Kshs.1, 500/-) remained. An application for the land control board consent was submitted but was not obtained. Our Client through his then Advocates one Messers Ghadialy & Co. Advocates informed Sophia Nyakweya of the same through a letter dated 29th August 1979 and further notified her that our Client was rescinding the sale agreement because the land board consent was not obtained.

Our Client then refunded the Kenya Shillings Twelve Thousand Five Hundred (Kshs.12,500/-) to Sophia Nyakweya. The said amount was refunded through a cheque and letter dated 5th November 1979, forwarded through the our Client’s Advocate Messers Ghadialy & Co. Advocates to the Respondent’s then Advocates one Messers A.J. Kariuki & Co. Advocates.

The sale agreement dated 9th February 1976 was executed between our Client and Sophia Nyakweya and the Respondent was never privy to the same. He was a stranger to the agreement and the fact that he is the husband to Sophia Nyakweya did not legitimize his fraudulent claim.

A dispute ensued and when the Respondent instituted a suit against our Client before a panel of elders and arbitrator, they made an award in favour of the Respondent, ordering for the sub-division of our Client’s land into two portions of One (1) acre for the Respondent and Four and a half (4.5) acres for our Client.  The Respondent later filed civil suit no. 214/80 in Nyeri, where he sought orders for specific performance. Our Client instructed Messers Ghadialy & Co. Advocates to represent him in the matter and he filed a memorandum of appearance but failed to file a defence. The matter proceeded without the our Client’s knowledge and Messers Ghadialy & Co. Advocates neglected and/or refused to participate in the proceedings and an ex-parte judgment was issued against our Client and being dissatisfied with the same, he filed this present appeal.

Issue for Determination

Our issues for determination were:-

  1. Whether the Respondent was privy to the sale agreement dated 9th February 1976.
  2. Whether the lack of consent from the land control board nullified the sale agreement dated 9th February 1976.
  3. Whether the mistake of Ghadialy & Co. Advocates should be visited upon the Appellant.

On 15th February 2018, a judgment was issued by Honourable Justice Mbogholi Msagha, where our appeal was allowed and the decision of the Chief Magistrate’s Court was set aside. Find herein attached the summary of C.A. NO. 239/90 – Mwaniki Mbogo Wambugu Vs. Meshack Mbogo Wambugu. We represented the Appellant therein and the Judgment was delivered on 15th February, 2018 by Hon. Justice Mbogholi Msagha in which our Appeal was allowed. Our Clients were very grateful for the assistance that Kituo has accorded them in a matter they first started pursuing in 1990. We Care for Justice.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria

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Success Stories-Lang’ata Women’s Prison

Success Stories from the Lang’ata Women’s Prison Justice Centre

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Langata women prison paralegals during the graduation  at the Lang’ata Women maximum prison

Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Prison Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained prison paralegals to assist them self-represent in court, offer legal advice to the other inmates, educating them on criminal law and guiding them on how to confidently represent themselves in Court and empower the entire prison community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising these centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Prison Justice Centres at Shimo La Tewa Men & Women Prisons, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kodiaga, Nyeri Main (King’ong’o) G.K. Prison, Kakamega GK Prison and Meru GK Prison. As a result, inmates and Prison Officers have been able to offer legal aid services to inmates and from 2010 to date 10,000 + inmates have been released following interventions by trained paralegals. The Prison justice centers have significantly contributed to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

Kituo is always pursuing access to justice for all and through the prison paralegals model Jane Nyambuye Manyonge speaks on the results from the Lang’ata Women’s Prison…

“Walking down the memory lane, 2016 hitherto we, as Langata Women MaximumPrison have benefited a lot  from Kituo Cha Sheria through legal awareness. Your vision and mission are actually based on the spirit of charity. Thus, to help the poor and the marginalized. We sincerely appreciate you for taking your precious time and money, setting aside your other commitments to facilitate the just ended workshop.” These were the exact spoken words of Jane Nyambuye Manyonge, a qualified prison paralegal during the just concluded prison paralegal graduation which saw 30 inmates and 10 prison officers awarded certificates after a week-long intensive paralegal training at the Lang’ata Women’s prison.

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Jane Nyambuye Manyonge, a qualified prison paralegal giving her speech during the just concluded prison paralegal graduation at the Lang’ata Women maximum prison.

In her speech, that was full of gratitude, Jane on behalf of the other paralegals testified that they have been empowered through Kituo’s legal awareness programmes.

She added that they have acquired basic knowledge of law to that they now use to assist their clients; (a term they use to refer to their fellow inmates) with cross-examination questions, making submissions especially to clients who do not have advocates, encouraging clients to develop self-confidence during self-representation in court as well as drafting their defense and mitigation. According to Jane, the paralegals are no longer ignorant of their legal rights. She attested this based on the success stories that they have received from the prison justice center where they attend to their clients twice a week that is on Tuesday and Thursday every week.
“The paralegals are competent of doing the whole trial process, draft appeals, petitions, memorandums, revisions on review and review on appeals as well as giving legal aid and awareness to other inmates.” Said Jane.

Success Stories
With a broad smile on her face, Jane presented a number of success stories that they have documented at the prison justice Centre. “Our efforts have borne fruits {pause} and as such we have had many success stories the latest one being in this month February, 2018 where we saw four (4) of our fellow inmates walk scot free out of the prison gate through the A.D.R. initiative. Some cases have been terminated and the accused person’s acquitted through the paralegal aid. Best example is one Mary Kavetsa who was charged with murder. The prison paralegals played an instrumental role in helping her draft her defense which went through successfully. She was then acquitted. Olivia Mutheu another inmate who had 3 counts of roberry with violence and had no advocate to represent her in Court was also another one who benefited from the paralegal services freely. The paralegals assisted by taking her through the whole trial process, questions to ask before the Court and other legal advice. She was acquitted of all charges. Rahab Nyawira who is also a certified paralegal, had one file with three counts of roberry with violence. She was able to represent herself in court and was acquitted of the two counts and the third count was reduced to a lesser charge of handling stolen goods; which she got two years.
Pauline Mbugua, also a prison paralegal, was facing seven charges. She has used the knowledge she gained through the Kituo paralegal refresher training in prison to battle it out and argue her case in Court.  Pauline who represents herself in Court has been acquitted of five (5) charges and now has two files to go.”

Challenges Faced by Inmates in their Pursuit for Justice…
Jane noted that most of pre-trial inmates have no charge sheets thus making it difficult to assist them. She added that most of the inmates are also illiterate and do not only understand their rights but also the court process, what is required from them and of them hence this delays proceedings and judgments. Most of the inmates also cannot afford to hire advocates to represents them. All these put together most times lead to delayed justice or unfair judgment.

RCKM
Kituo Cha Sheria

Success Stories-Kakamega Prison Justice Centre

Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Prison Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained prison paralegals to assist them self-represent in court, offer legal advice to the other inmates, educating them on criminal law and guiding them on how to confidently represent themselves in Court and empower the entire prison community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising these centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Prison Justice Centres at Shimo La Tewa Men & Women Prisons, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kodiaga, Nyeri Main (King’ong’o) G.K. Prison, Kakamega GK Prison and Meru GK Prison. As a result, inmates and Prison Officers have been able to offer legal aid services to inmates and from 2010 to date 10,000 + inmates have been released following interventions by trained paralegals. The Prison justice centers have significantly contributed to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

These are some Success Stories from the Kakamega Prison Justice Centre…

I. Jackson  Sikunga Maloba alias Stephen Opondo Raimondi

OFFENCES: C1. Obtaining money by false pretence  C2. Unlawfully making use of another person’s identity card C/sec 313 pc and 14(1) (f) of the registration of persons Act Cap107 Laws of Kenya respectively. CRC No. 1053/2012. SPM;s Court Mumias

Jackson  Sikunga Maloba was remandee at the Kakamega Prison where he found the Prison Paralegals ready to assist him with his matter. Among some of the issues raised included; he claimed the case was a frame up, his advocate was not representing him well; his bond pending appeal was dismissed-HCCR. MISC. APP. 33/2016 to which he appealed to the High Court vide HCCR.A No 62/2016. Mr. Sikunga claims he was ailing and even walking had become a problem as he was continually being helped by other prisoners to get his meals or even clean up himself and his clothing. The basis of his appeal was a request for mercy from the courts.

The prison paralegals took up this matter and advised that he should regularly take his drugs and continue to do some walking within the compound. They also recommended that the prison social welfare officer should call his lawyer to come and give him assurances on the progress of his case. The prison documentation office should help him request a review of his sentence. The prison paralegals also advised that the prison medical officer to write a supporting report on his medication.

The Officer-In-Charge wrote to the High Court to review Mr. Sikunga’s sentence on 2nd February 2017 VIDE: KAK/G/DOC/P/1/VOL. XXII/360 and Mr. Sikunga was discharged on bond pending appeal on 17th March, 2017. Successful.

II. Derrick Onyango

OFFENCES: Being in possession of narcotic drugs C/Sec.  3(1) and 3(2) (a) of the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. CRC No. 2010/017. CRM’s Court KAK-1 year sentence

Mr. Onyango who was a 21 years old University student was arrested while at the Nakumatt Supermarket in Kakamega town buying rizzler papers and found in possession of a stick of bhang. He informed the prison paralegals that he needed to be helped to go back to school and continue with his studies. He was subsequently advised to write a petition  to the High Court for revision of his sentence and that he should attach his admission letter, course programme, student ID and if possible a letter from the university confirming his continuation.

The prison paralegals drafted the petition for Mr. Onyango  which was received by the High Court on 11th August, 2017- HCCR. Misc APPL No. 63/2017. He attended Court for the application severally for mentions of the same and was discharged on 26th September 2017 to serve One Year Community Service Order (C.S.O). Successful.

III. Sammy Ongadi

OFFENCE: Defilement C/Section 8 (1) as read with Section 8 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act No. 3 of 2006. CRC No. 316/2012- SPM’s Court, Vihiga.

Mr. Ongadi approached the Kakamega Prison Justice Centre with a pending appeal at the High Court in Kakamega seeking help to inform the Court about his ailment in prison and the fact that he had not received proceedings to enable him prepare submissions. The prison paralegals advised him to swear an affidavit enumerating his ailments and assisted him in writing an application for court proceedings.

A request for proceedings was subsequently forwarded by the Justice centre on 7th April 2017 together with Mr. Ongadi’s affidavit which was forwarded on the same day. On hearing of his matter the prisoner was discharged by appeal on 23rd October 2017. Successful.

IV. Javan Anyanga

OFFENCES: C.T I: Gang Rape C/Sec 140/PC C.T. II: Defilement 8(1) and 8(3) C.T. III: Defilement 21/2/2008. CRC No. 65/2007-SRM’s Court Mumias. Sentence: Life

When Mr. Javan Anyanga presented his matter to the Kakamega Prison Justice Centre; his appeal had already taken long. Mr. Anyanga had become visually impaired while in prison and was requesting assistance with fast tracking of the case.

The prisoner serving a life sentence was advised to write a reminder to Court (which the prison paralegals drafted on his behalf) and was also advised to see the prison medical officer to draft for him a report to support his submissions.

The parlagals prepared the reminder which was presented to the Court together with a report from the prison medical officer to support his submissions. Mr. Anyanga was consequently discharged by appeal on 23rd October 2017. Successful.

RCKM
Kituo Cha Sheria.

Success Stories-Kodiaga Prison Justice Centre

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Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Prison Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained prison paralegals to assist them self-represent in court, offer legal advice to the other inmates, educating them on criminal law and guiding them on how to confidently represent themselves in Court and empower the entire prison community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising these centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Prison Justice Centres at Shimo La Tewa Men & Women Prisons, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kodiaga, Nyeri Main (King’ong’o) G.K. Prison, Kakamega GK Prison and Meru GK Prison. As a result, inmates and Prison Officers have been able to offer legal aid services to inmates and from 2010 to date 10,000 + inmates have been released following interventions by trained paralegals. The Prison justice centers have significantly contributed to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

These are some Success Stories from the Kisumu Maximum Prison-Kodiaga Prison Justice Centre…

I. OFFENCE: HANDLING STOLEN PROPERTY: 56/2016

Samuel Kimtai Bor a resident of Kisumu was arrested in March 2016 and arraigned in Kisumu Law Courts where he was charged with handling stolen property. He stayed in remand for a period of seven and a half months awaiting hearing. Neither him or his family could afford to hire a lawyer to represent him in his case. However, the prison paralegals at the Kodiaga Justice centre were instrumental in assisting by way of training Mr. Bor on how to speak up confidently in court, how to ask questions during cross examination, re-examination and examination in chief. Subsequent to this coaching and with tips from the paralegals Mr. Bor’s case was heard and judgment made on   23rd March 2017 in his favor. He was acquitted and he is no longer at the Maximum Prison Facility.

II. OFFENCE: DEFILEMENT: 9/2013-KISUMU

Atieli Shikunyi Ofira, 87 years of age was sentenced to five years imprisonment for defiling a five year old girl. Ofira a resident of Kisumu could not afford to hire a lawyer to represent him in his case. His family members too could not afford to pay for his legal services. However, his case could not be proved beyond doubt as there had been no medical examination of the minor to ascertain these claims and there were no witnesses to attest to this crime being committed.

The Kituo trained prison paralegals were instrumental in identifying the gaps and loopholes present in his case file. They trained Ofira, on how to conduct himself in court, the relevant questions to ask during cross examination, examination in chief and re-examination.

He was acquitted on 23rd February, 2017 after the Kisumu Law Court ruled in his favor. He is no longer at the Maximum Prison Facility.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria

Kituo Cha Sheria Celebrates Joseph Ojango Ongaya – a true Grassroots Justice Champion

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“Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”Brodi Ashton, Everneath

Goal 16 of the sustainable development goals speaks to promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. In promoting access to justice at the grassroots level, Kituo Cha Sheria works with trained community paralegals – men and women doing sterling pro-bono work within their communities. These dedicated and remarkable people generously donate their time, expertise, and energy to help close the gap in access to justice by offering credible and accountable legal aid services to indigent persons within their society.

Our community paralegals bring Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya to life at the grassroots level;  Mzee Joseph Ojango Ongaya of the Kibera Community Justice Centre (Nairobi County) was one such champion.

Mzee Joseph Ojango served as chairman of the Kibera Community Justice Centre working in partnership with Kituo cha Sheria as a true human rights champion since 2008 until his passing on 3rd December 2017. Mzee Joseph Ojango Ongaya was born in 1958 to Mzee Ongaya Ojango and Veronica Onienga in Nyakwaka Vilage, Asonga Sub-location, Ugunja Constituency, Siaya County. Mzee Ojango received his formal education through the O-level school system where he excelled in his studies. Brother Ojango was born into a Catholic family and baptized at the St. Francis Rangala Parish. He later joined the St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Eastleigh next to Pangani where he lived becoming a strong member of the church. Ojango was employed at Kenya Breweries Limited where he served dutifully till his retirement. After retirement he was involved in politics (Chairman of Orange Democratic Movement-Starehe Constituency, Nairobi County) social and voluntary works (NGO’s- Kituo Cha Sheria, IPOA, Kenya Human Rights Commission, among others) as well as various church activities. Mzee Ojango was truly blessed and served as a blessing to many since birth in 1958.

He was preceded in death by his loving parents, brother Lucas Ongaya, sister Mackrine Akoth and son Felix Manon Otieno. He lives to Cherish his wife Wilfridah Adhiambo, brother Mathews Magero, sisters Maria and Domtilla and his children Paul Victor Budung, Daughter in law Mercy Otieno,Beatrice Akinyi, Erick Omondi Mandoz El Prezida and Linet Atieno. Grandchildren Rachel Nelly, Liam Joseph Kyle Joseph and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and other loving relatives and friends.

Kituo cha Sheria wishes to sincerely condole with Mzee Ojango’s family; we wish them the fortitude and presence of mind to go through this trying moment in their lives.

Community paralegals go the extra mile in doing their work, in some cases more than other permanent staff. Community paralegals are highly dedicated people, highly motivated by the desire to make tangible contributions to their communities by reaching the vulnerable and marginalized. They continuously develop their capacities to participate actively and constructively in the promotion of access to justice.

We celebrate our grassroots justice champions!

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria

We care for justice.

Success Story of Alex Mmera Mwalati

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Alex Mmera Mwalati from Kakamega worked as a radio producer at Sauti Ya Rehema (Sayare RTVN) for seven years until October 2015 when he voluntarily chose to resign and pursue other things. He duly followed the process required in terminating one’s employment by giving a notice period and diligently completing his tasks as he‘d always done.

At the end of the working relationship with Sayare RVTN,  Mmera requested payment of his outstanding arrears something which he got verbal commitments from the network management but which was not forthcoming. After several unfruitful attempts to get his dues, he decided to seek legal assistance. He approached the Milimani Commercial Court in Nairobi. “The Courts are where justice resides”, he said. At the Commercial Court he was directed to Kituo Cha Sheria for further assistance. He walked through the gate at Kituo Cha Sheria, an organization he’d heard about but never interacted with before, in April 2016. Mmera was registered as a new Kituo client and given legal advice on the actions he needed to take to get his arrears.  This was done before he was given another date to come and see a lawyer with all the relevant documents.

On 25th May, 2016 Mr. Mmera presented all the relevant documents (appointment letter, resignation letter and bank statements) necessary for his claim to Ms. Christine Obiero, a Kituo lawyer who advised the client, drafted demand letters and pleadings in pursuit of his claim. The employer remained non-committal to all communication from our client until the matter was filed in Nakuru-the nearest labour court to where Mmera was working. On being served the employer finally acknowledged the employee status of Mr. Mmera and the amount owed in arrears. After negotiations an agreement was put in place giving the formula of payment with Mmera receiving a cheque of Ksh. 138,000-the first installment in September 2016. The employer is expected to clear the balance by December 2016.

A beaming Mmera received the cheque as reward for his labour and persistence in pursuing his rights; he urges people to follow-up their issues where they feel deprived but as a good journalist warns that patience is key. He remains grateful to the team at Kituo for their work in giving hope to the poor and marginalized that they too have rights safeguarded in law that deserve to be pursued.

RCKM-Kituo cha Sheria

We Care for Justice

Kituo at the Mathare Legal Aid and Human Rights Advocacy (MLAHRA) Youth Forum

MLAHRA 1On June 30th 2016 Kituo joined the Mathare Legal Aid and Human Rights Advocacy (MLAHRA) and the youth of Mathare drawn from Mashimoni, Huruma and Area 3 from 9am to 12pm at the Undugu Vacational Training Center Polytechnic on Juja road for an awareness forum.

MLAHRA organizes monthly public forums geared towards promoting active citizenship with Gibson Maina, an activist and community organizer working in Mathare slum mobilizing around 40 youth leaders from all over Mathare slum who invited Kituo for the June edition. Kituo’s Advocacy, Governance and Community Partnerships coordinator Aimee Ongeso, Maureen Thuo and Ashioya Biko(Kituo Advocates) conducted the day-long training at the forum.mlahra22

Kituo used the forum to educate the participants about the history of Kituo and the work the organization does as well as update them on the status of the Legal Aid Act including aaccreditation of legal aid providers legal advice and assistance by paralegals and persons who may apply for legal aid. The participants also taken through Kituo’s M-Haki– a mobile legal aid platform through which the public can send in legal questions and get a response within 48 hours.The forum present an opportunity to share Kituo’s work with the youth including how we engage with communities together with a Q&A session for legal questions from the participants.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria