A family in Kirinyaga is crying for justice after their son, secondary school student, was crushed to death by a police vehicle along the Sagana-Makutano road.
Kenneth Mwaura, 17, a Form Two student at Njegas Boys Secondary School, was on his way to Sagana town from Riandira when he was hit by the vehicle and died instantly.
He was on his midterm break when the tragedy struck.
According to witnesses, the student was riding his uncle’s motorcycle when he was hit from behind by the vehicle which was heading towards Nyeri from Makutano.
The Monday incident triggered protests from family members who stormed Sagana Police Station demanding the arrest and prosecution of the driver of the GK car which was reportedly carrying two senior police officers from Nyeri.
Unconfirmed reports said the two officers were slightly injured during the incident which caused a major traffic jam on the usually busy road.
Immediately after the crash, police collected the student’s body and took it to Murang'a Hospital mortuary, a move that raised suspicions from relatives.
The family said they expected the police to take the body to Karatina Hospital mortuary which is nearer to the scene of the crash.
"The police hurriedly collected the body of Mwaura and took it to the mortuary where it was booked as that of an unknown person. We suspect there was an intention to cover up the incident,” said the boy's grandfather, Mr Mwaura Chege.
Mr Chege explained that he had sent the victim to Sagana to withdraw money for buying school uniform when he was run over by the car and died on the spot.
"I was at home when another student came running and informed me that my grandson was lying dead following a road accident. It was then that I informed other family members and we rushed to the scene and found his body had been removed and we proceeded to the police station," said Mr Chege.
Mr Chege claimed that on arrival at the police station, a police officer hurled insults at them, telling them to go away.
"We were chased away when we sought to know where they had taken the body of the student," said Mr Chege.
The boy's grandmother, Lucy Wanjiru, also claimed that she was manhandled by the officer and insulted when she asked why the body was taken far away and labelled as unknown.
"An officer pushed me severally for asking him questions about my grandson. I was mistreated instead of being consoled," said a tearful Ms Wanjiru.
The family also claimed that the number plates on the police vehicle were changed to those of a private car immediately after the incident happened.
"There is a plot to cover up the crime but we shall not allow this to happen," said Mr Chege, a retired veterinary officer.
Relatives described Kenneth as a bright student who always did well in school.
"The teachers liked him so much because he took his studies seriously but, sadly, he has passed away," Ms Wanjiru said.
The family called urged the government to intervene and ensure that justice is done for their son.
Before he met his death, Kenneth was staying with his grandparents as his mother works in Embu.
Contacted, the Mwea West OCPD Stephen Wenda declined to comment on the matter saying it is sensitive and referred Nation to his boss.
County Police Commander Leah Kithei admitted that a police car was involved in the fatal crash.
However, she refused to disclose the identities of the vehicle’s occupants, telling relatives of the victim to be patient.
Ms Kithei also denied that the officers in the car fled after the incident.
"Whatever is being said about our officers is not true. Police enforce the laws and can't run away from the scene of an accident," she said.