Former Kisumu bosses to testify in Baby Pendo hearing

Piece by: Queen Serem

Former Kisumu county bosses will testify as the hearing of the public inquest to establish the killers of Baby Samantha Pendo resumes today.

They include Titus Yoma (county commander) and Chris Mutune (Kisumu Central OCPD).

Also set to appear before the court is Inspector Ali Mohamed adversely mentioned by witnesses and who was in charge of the officers quelling protests in Nyalenda where Baby Pendo was clobbered.

Resident magistrate Beryl Omollo also allowed the witnesses to come with their lawyers if they need to during this hearing.

During last month’s hearing, Kisumu Central AP boss Benjamin Koima failed to prove his officers were not among police deployed to Nyalenda.

Koima initially told the inquest his officers were redeployed to guard polling stations, government installations and VIPs between August 8 and 16 last year.

He said he did not know AP officers who were deployed to Nyalenda.

Nyalenda is in Kisumu Central. Omollo ordered Koima to produce a deployment order to show his officers were not in Nyalenda.

The order failed to show the officers were deployed elsewhere.

Two APs - Erick Chirchir and Cleophas Ochieng’ - were found to have been deployed in Nyalenda. Their names appeared in the operation order.

Omollo had ordered Koima to present the operation order. Kenya National Commission on Human Rights lawyer Charles Onyango and his Law Society of Kenya counterpart Richard Onsongo asked Koima to explain why names of the two officers appeared in the operation order and not the deployment order he earlier presented to court.

“With the names of the two officers missing in deployment order, it then tells that they were part of the joint force that was quelling riots in Nyalenda as stated by the operation order,” Onyango told the hearing.