Police probe woman’s death at Mariguini Administration Police camp in Nairobi's South B

The woman had spent nine hours in the cold at the police post on Tuesday night.

Monday March 14 2016

Mercy Nanjala, who had been detained at the

Mercy Nanjala, who had been detained at the Mariguini Administration Police camp in South B, Nairobi, after her friend, Emily Wasike, who has since disappeared, claimed she stole her phone. Ms Nanjala died while being treated after spending nine hours in the cold at the police post. PHOTO | COURTESY | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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Police are investigating an incident in which a woman died after being detained at the Mariguini Administration Police camp in South B, Nairobi.

The woman, who developed complications in custody and later died while being treated, had spent nine hours in the cold at the police post on Tuesday night.

Mercy Nanjala had been detained at the AP camp after her friend, Emily Wasike, who has since disappeared, claimed she stole her phone.

Investigations revealed that when Ms Nanjala was arrested, she said she had been given the handset by Ms Wasike and was ready to surrender it.

Two AP officers, the complainant and a village elder accompanied Ms Nanjala to her house, where the phone was found.

However, it did not have SIM and memory cards. The officers decided to detain her until she showed them where the cards were.

Makadara AP boss John Macharia on Sunday acknowledged that Ms Nanjala was kept at the camp.

She was detained from 8pm on Tuesday until 5am the following day, when her condition deteriorated and her family was informed and asked to go get her.

“The complainant did not want the matter to go to court. At 5am, she developed complications and family members were called. She was taken to hospital and died later,” Mr Macharia said.

RESIDENTS DEMONSTRATE

On Saturday night, South B residents demonstrated and barricaded roads when they learnt of the woman’s death.

Some demanded to know why Ms Nanjala was not treated when she fell ill.

The law only allows AP officers to arrest suspects but not investigate crimes.

Investigations have been launched to establish why the woman was not transferred to Industrial Area Police Station.

Nairobi County Police Commander Japheth Koome on Sunday said investigations had been launched following claims that Ms Nanjala was raped and assaulted while at the camp.

Officers at the camp denied the claims, saying a family member had told them that Ms Nanjala had health complications.

However, the woman’s mother, Evalyne Nafula, said her daughter was in good health at the time of her arrest.

“We know she was assaulted. When her condition deteriorated, they called my younger daughter, who is only 14 to the camp,” Ms Nafula said.

She said when her daughter was picked up from the police post, she was bleeding and appeared to have been sexually assaulted.

“We have not been able to get a full report from the hospital. We still do not know what reports say was the cause of my daughter’s death,” she said.

The family also wanted the police officers to explain why they were detaining the woman’s phone, whose SIM card had been removed by the complainant.