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Ex-MP’s Appeal On Sh15Million Compensation For Son’s Murder Quashed



Last week, Kenya Insights wrote about Dickson Mwangi Munene a Former Police Inspector in Nairobi who had been serving life imprisonment at Kamiti Maximum Prison for the murder of a former MP’s son had his life hopes restored after the High Court quashed his life sentence and ordered him to pay the Ex-MP sh15million for damages he made to the family.

Dickson Munene Mwangi and Alexander Chepkonga Francis In Kamiti Prison

Former Gatundu North legislator Patrick Muiruri’s family has lost an appeal contesting the award of Sh15.8 million by the High Court as compensation for the death of their son, who was shot dead by a police officer 10 years ago.

Muiruri had appealed High Courts decision arguing that the amount offered was too little. His son, James Ng’ang’a Kariuki was shot by a police officer, Dickson Munene, during a brawl in a club in Westlands, Nairobi.

The late Kariuki, then a 29-year-old lawyer, was a junior lecturer at Sheffield International University, United Kingdom, and had returned home to await graduation after completing his doctorate.

Two police officers, Dickson Munene Mwangi and Alexander Chepkonga Francis, were tried and convicted for his murder, but Mr Chepkonga was later freed on appeal. The former MP’s family then sued for liability and the matter was settled by consent recorded before the trial judge on April 20, 2016 and liability attached against the Attorney-General.


They contended that they had invested substantially in their son’s education and emotional support and love in order to see him successfully through his education, stating that his income would have been approximately Sh700,000 per month and with a possible increase in the course of his career.

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Ex-MP Muiruri produced a letter from Nigel D. White, professor of public international law at the University of Nottingham, who had supervised Kariuki’s PhD programme.

After hearing the case, Hight Court judge Joseph Sergon ordered the government to pay the family a total of Sh15,857,730, comprising Sh100,000 for pain and suffering, Sh200,000 for loss of expectation of life and Sh12 million for loss of dependency. The family was also awarded special damages of Sh1,557,730 and exemplary damages of Sh2,000,000.

But they were dissatisfied with the award, arguing that it was too low and went to the Court of Appeal to seek a review. At appeal, Justices Daniel Musinga, Gatembu Kairu, and Sankale ole Kantai said there was no doubt that Mr. Kariuki, aged 29 at the time of death, had an illustrious career before him.

The Appellate Judges stated that besides the letter from Prof White giving a general view of Mr. Kariuki and his future prospects had he continued teaching until retirement, there was no confirmation that he was employed by Sheffield International University. They ruled that the amount given by Justice Sergon was reasonable in the circumstances.


“We have considered the material available before the judge and have reached the same conclusion the deceased was not employed at the time of death,” they said.


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