In a year-long quest for justice following journalist Arshad Sharif’s tragic death, Kenya’s President, Dr. William Ruto, has encountered a resounding silence, thwarting his efforts to hold the perpetrators accountable. Interviews with key figures in the case have revealed that President Ruto’s inquiries have yielded no progress, leaving the high-profile journalist’s murder unresolved.
Arshad Sharif met his untimely demise on October 23, 2022, in a remote area, hours away from Kenya’s capital. President Ruto also took notice of an investigation, published on August 30th, which revealed that the five Kenyan police officers involved in the journalist’s killing had resumed their official duties without facing any consequences. Despite the President’s inquiries, the situation remains stagnant.
A year has passed since Sharif’s death, yet the five police officers implicated in the brutal killing continue to enjoy their police privileges. Douglas Wainaina, a businessman who reported his missing vehicle, described holding a series of meetings with high-ranking officials in Kenya, including the Head of State, the Director of Criminal Investigations, and the National Police Service Boss, as part of the investigation.
Wainaina reported that his vehicle, a Mercedes Benz, was stolen in the Ngara area. The same vehicle was being driven by Sharif when he was killed. The circumstances surrounding the case have raised many questions and challenges, including Wainaina’s frustrating experiences with the police.
Javeria Siddique, Arshad Sharif’s widow, has initiated a lawsuit against the General Service Unit (GSU), holding them responsible for her husband’s tragic death. She has been joined in this legal action by the Kenya Union of Journalists and Kenya Correspondents Association. The lawsuit seeks to hold the police officers involved accountable and demands a public apology, acknowledgment of the facts, and acceptance of responsibility.
Siddique is convinced that her husband’s killing was a targeted assassination, given the threats he had received in Pakistan. She has also reached out to the United Nations, seeking intervention to secure justice for her family.
The lawsuit highlights the urgency of addressing the violation of Arshad Sharif’s right to life and underscores the need for swift action. A year has passed since the journalist’s murder, and Kenya’s Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA), responsible for investigating police conduct, has yet to make its findings public, despite promises to do so.
It’s essential to note that IPOA had handed its file to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), but the case appears to have stagnated. Additionally, there are concerns about the return to active duty of Kevin Kimuyu Mutuku, a police officer who claimed to have been shot during the incident. Forensic evidence contradicts his account.
Arshad Sharif’s arrival in Kenya and his subsequent tragic death, the circumstances of the case, and the prolonged investigation have all raised significant questions about the pursuit of justice in this matter.
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