What you need to know:
- They also want an official apology from the government over his unlawful detention and torture in the 1990s.
- The first hearing kicked off at Nairobi's Milimani Law courts last week.
- Mrs Mukaru, the first one to testify before Justice Chacha Mwita, narrated to the court how her family suffered emotionally.
The family of a former political detainee, lecturer and multi-party crusader Mukaru Ng'ang'a is now hopeful that they will receive compensation and an official apology from the government over his unlawful detention and torture in the 1980s.
Mukaru, a former history lecturer at the University of Nairobi, filed the first lawsuit in 1987 while still in detention seeking justice over the tribulations he underwent during former President Moi's regime but unfortunately died in 1997 before he could get an opportunity to tell his story in court.
After his death, his wife, Lucy Wanjiku Mukaru took over the case seeking to have her husband's wish of getting an official apology and compensation fulfilled.
The first hearing kicked off at Nairobi's Milimani Law courts last week.
Past hearing dates had been cancelled or postponed numerous times without notice thereby inconveniencing members of the family who reside in Europe by forcing them to make endless trips into the country in pursuit of justice.
Mrs Mukaru, the first one to testify before Justice Chacha Mwita, narrated to the court how her family suffered emotionally during the many times Mr Ng’ang’a was picked from his homes in Thika and Kiunyu in Kiambu and Murang'a counties respectively by armed security officers.
She said that it was through the media that the family learnt that her husband was being detained without trial at undisclosed locations on sedition allegations.
The widow told court that Mr Ng’ang’a was released in 1984 and that was when he revealed to the family how he was subjected to torture and other injustices while in detention.
"He said he was denied food and water for days and was forced to drink urine mixed with human excretion to survive. All this time he remained naked in a torture chamber with his feet immersed in cold water," she told the court.
As a result of his detention and the torture, the widow told the court that Mr Ng’ang’a lost two teeth and could not walk without support. His eye sight was also affected.
Two years after his release, Mrs Mukaru said her husband was again arrested and held for 90 days before the government ordered that he be detained further.
He spent the next three years in detention.
It was during this period in detention that in 1987 he filed a lawsuit against the government.
Mukaru's children, first born Oscar Ng'ang'a and the third born Winnie Njoki, now a social worker in Stockholm, Sweden, also testified in court and recounted how the tribulations their father went through traumatised them from an early age.
They also blamed the death of their last born brother, Rodney Kamau, who died after suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome in 2016, to the fact that as a young boy, he witnessed their father suffer frequent arrests and harassment by State agents.
The family also blamed Mukaru's deteriorating health and eventual death at the age of 52 in a Swedish hospital to the torture he went through.
Ng’ang’a said the family hopes to get a State apology for the death of a man “whose only crime was to fight to ensure that the next generations of Kenyans would be free to vote for whoever they wished to represent them.”
Several months after his release, on March 29, 1990 Mukaru fled from his Kiunyu home after fears that he was being trailed by strangers whom he suspected to be plainclothes policemen.
Later, Mukaru sought asylum in Sweden with his family.
After the introduction of multi-party rule in the early 1990s, Mukaru returned to Kenya and formed the Kenya National Democratic Alliance (Kenda) party which he used to contest the presidency in 1992 but lost.
The case was adjourned to October 17, 2017 when counsel for both parties will make their submissions.
Last week, the High Court in Nairobi ordered that another multi-party crusader, Kenneth Matiba, be awarded Sh504 Million by the government as compensation for the torture he went through during his heydays.