'Baby, Pendo grabbed and held me so tight,' minutes before she went into a coma, cried mum

Piece by: Grace Kerongo

Today, the mother of baby Pendo, Lencer Achieng, who was clubbed on the head by riot police testified about how she died.

The details of the suffering of the poor tot brought the mother to tears in the Kisumu court as the inquest to determine the killers of six month old Samantha Pendo kicked off before Kisumu Magistrate Berily Omollo.

Achieng was overwhelmed by emotions as she narrated to the court what transpired in August 12, 2017  that later led to the death of her daughter.

Achieng told the court how the officers first broke into his brother in law house where they heard screams and shouts for help.

"At this point,  I got scared because it was around midnight,  I told my husband to open the door because we could be next but he told me to calm down,  she said. 

After few minutes, we heard a knock on the door as the officers demanded that we open the door,  at first we declined for fear of being beaten but the officers managed to get some space from the door where they lobbied teargas canisters in the house.

"One of the officers was saying these people have refused to open the door, my door is weak we normally support it with a chair and to some point they managed to get some space which they immediately lobbied a teargas canister in the house," she told the court. 

At this point, she said the house was filled with smoke, they could not breath they choked and the husband's attempts to open the door were futile because the officers had locked the door from outside.

"My husband was screaming and shouting that their were kids in the house and they should open the door,  and immediately they did," she said adding that the officers  eight in number, clad in anti riot gear descended on her husband with beatings.


Running out of the house choking from the teargas, with Pendo on her shoulder, the officers accosted her.

"I told the officers that I surrender they should not beat me, because I have a small baby with me, one officer left me to pass but another tried hitting me, I blocked with my left hand, another hit me on the back, when I turned the one in front hit my baby," she said in tears as the court gave her some time before she could continue.

"Pendo grabbed and held me so tight, I looked at her,  her mouth was removing foam and the left side of her head immediately swell. I started crying that they had killed my child as I went back to the house next to the door where my husband was still being beaten by the officers. 

One of the officers saw this, told my husband to do first aid for baby Pendo and wipe all the forms from her mouth.

She was later rushed to hospital.

Baby Pendo died days later

-The Star/ Faith Matete