Lawyer who died of injuries inflicted by policewoman laid to rest

Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi pins a medal on Salome Masaku, mother of lawyer Onesmus Masaku, during his burial at Kyaume Village in Matungulu Sub-county, Machakos County, on October 24, 2020.

Photo credit: Gastone Valusi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Top leadership of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) calls for speedy prosecution of the suspect.
  • LSK President, Nelson Havi, challenges High Court judges to ensure murder cases involving advocates are expeditiously concluded.

Makueni-based lawyer, Onesmus Masaku, who died last Sunday after sustaining injuries inflicted by a policewoman in Wote town was laid to rest in Machakos County yesterday.

Dozens of lawyers flocked the deceased’s home in Kyaume village, Matungulu constituency where various speakers called for speedy prosecution of the suspect, now in police custody.

Top leadership of the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), led by its president, Nelson Havi, joined family, relatives and friends in the emotional send-off ceremony. 

At the time of his death, the late Masaku, who was 27 years old, had barely served one year as an advocate of the High Court.

The late Masaku’s mother, Salome Mwikali tearfully eulogised her son, describing him as a precious gift and her only earthly possession.

“My son, my strength and my hope. You were the best gift in my life and you brought joy to this family. I thank God for the years He gave me to spend with you. They are unforgettable memories. You will forever remain in my heart,” the grieving mother said.

Lawyers during the burial of Makueni lawyer Onesmus Masaku at Kyaume village in Matungulu, Machakos County, on October 24, 2020. 

Photo credit: Gastone Valusi | Nation Media Group

Painful experience

LSK Lower Eastern chapter chairperson Justus Mutia promised Masaku's family that they will do all they can to ensure justice is served.

“It is really sad to lose a colleague in such circumstances. It is such a painful experience. There must be civil ways of resolving disputes other than causing harm to others," he said.

LSK chief executive officer Mercy Wambua termed the late Masaku’s death as an act of police brutality.

"We lost a young man with a brilliant future to police brutality. We condemn it in the strongest terms possible and encourage all to pursue civil and amicable means of settling disputes,” she said.

LSK President, Nelson Havi, challenged High Court judges to ensure murder cases involving advocates are expeditiously concluded.

Lawyers attend the burial of Makueni lawyer Onesmus Masaku at Kyaume village in Matungulu, Machakos County, on October 24, 2020.

Photo credit: Gastone Valusi | Nation Media Group

Unresolved murder

“There are about six unresolved murder cases of advocates in various High Courts. In half of these cases, the suspects are police officers. The scales of justice must balance. It is the responsibility of judges to expedite justice,” said Havi.

On Friday a Machakos Court directed that Nancy Njeri, a police constable at Makueni Police Station, who is accused of assaulting the lawyer, remains in custody for three more weeks, after the police sought more time to complete investigations.

"The suspect will be detained at Machakos Police Station for the purpose of mental assessment and Covid-19 test before plea taking on November 10," the deputy registrar at the court, Evans Keago, said.

Ms Njeri is accused of assaulting Mr Masaku using a machete when she visited his rented house in Wote town, Makueni County.

The two are believed to have been estranged lovers. Detectives are seeking to establish if the suspect was on a revenge mission.

The lawyer died while being treated at Kenyatta National Hospital.

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