Success Story of Harun G. Mwangi

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An elated Harun Mwangi (centre, in brown coat) receives the Judgement at Kituo Head Office.

Success Story of Harun G. Mwangi

ELC CASE No. 510 of 2012

Harun Mwangi heaved a sigh of relief after receiving a positive judgment from the Environment and Land and Court at Milimani, Nairobi issuing an order of eviction and a permanent injunction barring one Zacharia Karega who grabbed his plot from entering or interfering in any manner with the property that rightfully belongs to him.

The 73 years old, silver haired father of three from Kiambu County claimed that the parcel of land was allocated to him by the defunct City Council of Nairobi on 21st October, 1992 and he took possession but could not commence development due to lack of capital. As a result the ‘stranger’ entered into his land located in Kariobangi South sector VI, Nairobi in 2005, fenced it and put up temporary structures.

His efforts to have the issues resolved amicable using mediation came to naught as Zacharia the “land grabber” turned his back all the time Harun made an effort of reaching him. “I was then forced to look for justice in courts but getting a lawyer was a challenge since I could not afford to pay for the legal fees” said Harun.

Harun got referred to Kituo Cha Sheria by a friend and a close family member who had previously been assisted with labour matters. With a lot of excitement, he narrates how Kituo played a big role in ensuring he got justice.

“I can’t fail to be grateful to Mr. John Mwariri (Kituo Legal Officer), who after explaining my situation to; picked up on this matter. He helped me file this case back in 2012. He has been patient with the whole process that took six years.” In reply to this, Zacharia filed a statement of defense on 4th October 2012 claiming that he has been in possession of the land which he has developed and occupied since 1999.

Mr. Mwariri (Kituo Legal Officer) who was handling the matter filed a reply to defense on 25th February 2013 reinstating that Harun was the owner of the land. The case came for hearing on 21st March 2017. Zacharia did not appear. Harun presented his evidence and closed the case.

Judgement

Hon. Justice Okong’o on 21st June 2018 ruled in favor of our client in the absence of the defendant. He issued an order of eviction against the defendant, his family members, servants or agents, a permanent injunction against the defendant, his family members, servants or agents barring them from entering or interfering in any manner with the plot and that the plot rightfully belongs to Harun Mwangi. The judgment also stated that the defendants has up to 60 days to vacate and handover possession of the plot to Harun failure to which he will be subjected to forceful eviction.

This is yet another small victory for a Kenyan who had nowhere to turn but Kituo Cha Sheria- the people who care for justice for the poor and marginalized people in society.

By:

RCKM-Kituo Cha Sheria

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Success Story- Mary Runyangi Muchafu

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Mary Runyangi Muchafu receiving her settlement at Kituo Head office, Nairobi.

Mary Runyangi Muchafu is a middle-aged Kenyan woman who came to Nairobi over a decade in pursuit of gainful employment. Mary is an honest and hardworking Kenyan who worked as a domestic worker in the leafy suburb of Lavington, Nairobi while living in Kawangware. The mother of five (5) was contracted on the 22nd November, 2016 and performed her duties with loyalty and diligence until 6th December, 2017 when her employer; one Mariama Sieh unfairly fired her.

Mary was dismissed in the most unfair manner without any notice being given to her or receiving her terminal dues. Lost and confused on how to handle this most unfair predicament; Mary was contemplating taking her school going children back to their rural home as her prospects of supporting them in her current state looked grim.

Fortunately, when she narrated her story to a friend in the neighbourhood who also works as a security guard in the suburbs of Nairobi; there was a glimmer of hope. The friend happened to have received pro bono legal representation from Kituo Cha Sheria in a similar matter previously.

Mary had worked for the entire duration of her employment without leave including during public holidays and was instead met with threats of dismissal any time she requested a day off. Mary instead toiled in the Mariama household taking care of 4 children until the day she was dismissed and now was presenting her matter to a Kituo legal officer. Once her case was reviewed and deemed meritorious; a demand letter was immediately served to her former employer clearly stating the employer’s unjustified actions in four points- salary in lieu of notice; annual leave; service pay and compensation for unfair termination according to Kenya’s labour laws.

The employer did not respond to the demand within the stipulated time and instead rubbished Mary’s claim with more threats and scare tactics that she’d instead end up paying the employer.

Kituo’s legal officers acting on mandatory instructions to institute legal proceedings from the client were ready to proceed to court and had duly served the employer when through their legal counsel they offered to settle the claim out of Court. The offer being acceptable to our client- Mary Runyangi received a full and final settlement of Ksh. 32,000 in April, 2018.

A very thankful Mary who has since found employment elsewhere was grateful to all Kituo officers who assisted her in her pursuit of justice saying, “Nimesaidika! Asanteni sana”, she said.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria

Success Story- Njoki Nguga

succes-storyKibera Community Justice Center

Serving the most vulnerable persons in the society…

Njoki Nguga, a 67 years old granny from Kibra, Nairobi has a reason to smile after her name got approved as a beneficiary of the Kenyan government’s monthly stipend funds for the elderly.

Njoki, a widow who is staying with two orphaned grandchildren, spends sleepless nights trying to provide for the kids who are all in school. She said for several years she has not benefited from the funds despite her attaining and even surpassing the recommended age (65).  Her National Identification Card had an error, indicating that she was born in 1952 reducing her age by two years by the time she attained 65 years the recommended age for benefiting from older person’s funds, a programme run by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development in Kenya. The ministry had failed to enroll her because of this.

Njoki said she was referred to the Kibera Community Justice Centre by a friend who had once gotten assistance at the justice centre. She approached the justice center seeking legal advice regarding her problem. She specifically wanted the paralegals assist her correct the error that has made her miss the monthly stipend that she ought to be getting.

“I had made several attempts to government offices including the DC’s and the Chief’s offices but my efforts bore no fruits. I therefore decided to seek for assistance from the justice center as advised by a friend”, said Njoki.

Ezekiel Njenga, certified Paralegal at Kibera Community Justice Center intervened. He advised the client to first go for age assessment at Mbagathi Hospital and wrote a letter addressed to the relevant institution on behalf of the client recommending for change in the year of birth in the client’s national Identification Card (ID).

The requested process was successful and the client was issued with a new ID card and is currently registered and earning the stipend for the elderly thanks to the work of the community paralegal.

RCKM

Kituo Cha Sheria

 

Success Story of Mwangi Njangu

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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

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