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Kilifi schoolgirl dies in police cell in unclear circumstances

Wednesday February 5 2020

Pregnant woman

The parents of a 17-year-old girl, who was about seven months pregnant, have called for through and speedy investigations after she died in a cell at Bamba Police Station in Kilifi County in unclear circumstances. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

WINNIE ATIENO
By WINNIE ATIENO
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Shukran Masha’s parents had bought school uniform, stationery and other essentials ready to take her to Form One, only to receive the sad news of her death.

The 17-year-old girl, who was about seven months pregnant, had begged her parents to allow her to deliver her baby and get married before resuming school.

But on Tuesday, her mother took her to Bamba Police Station to get advice on the matter.

Ms Masha’s parents were scared that the 100 per cent transition mop up spearheaded by chiefs across the region would net them.

NOTE FROM POLICE

“My wife wanted the police to give her a note to allow her to stay home until she gives birth. But at around midnight, I was called by my other daughter telling me that my last born had committed suicide. I was shaken, I still don’t understand why or what happened. I am yet to see her body,” said Masha Kazungu, the father.

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Speaking to the Nation, Mr Kazungu said a post-mortem exam will reveal what really happened at the Bamba Police Station after speculations went rife that she was sexually assaulted.

Mr Kazungu said his daughter scored 220 marks in the 2019 KCPE exam and was set to join Kajembe High School in Mikindani.

Her body is lying at the Kilifi County Hospital Referral mortuary awaiting post-mortem examination.

MOTHER SHOCKED

“I bought her shopping I wanted her to complete her education. I didn’t reprimand her for the pregnancy. I don’t know what to say. There’s a lot of speculation surrounding her death in police cells. I want closure. Her mother is just crying, I don’t know how to console her; it has hit us hard,” he added.

He said he was told that his daughter used her hijab to hang herself.

Mr Kazungu said his daughter was impregnated by a 19-year-old secondary school student who had been arrested.

A resident, Ms Philister Sauti, said the girl’s parents had agreed to ensure she resumes school after giving birth.

“That is why her father did the shopping but on Monday she urged her parents to allow her go live with the ‘husband’ as she awaits to give birth. But her father refused and told her she was underage and they would be arrested for marrying her off,” Ms Sauti said.

Her mother decided to take her to Kilifi town to stay with her sister.

ARRESTED

“On reaching Bamba, the girl told her mother they should get a note from the police to ensure they are not arrested during the 100 per cent transition crackdown. But instead, the officer on duty arrested the girl,” Ms Sauti said.

Relatives and neighbours who saw the body told the Nation that they saw blood oozing from the private parts, making them to suspect there was foul play.

Ms Sauti said those who went to see the body found it hanging from a window in the police cells.

“The family has not been given any explanation. We suspect she was defiled and later murdered, this is not normal. What was she arrested for?” Ms Sauti posed.

CALLS FOR PROBE

A human rights activist, Erick Mgoja, condemned the incident and called for investigations to unravel the truth. He termed the incident as unfortunate.

Kilifi leaders also expressed outrage following the death and called for thorough investigations.

“It is indeed a very dark day for the great people of Ganze Constituency following the traumatising incident in Bamba Ward,” MP Teddy Mwambire said.

The MP said the incident should be investigated and the report made public so as to end speculations.

Ganze Deputy County Commissioner Richard Karani said the incident is being investigated.