Go live with your conscience, magistrate tells motorist who killed brother

Wednesday March 18 2020

Zahir Osman Ali faced a maximum of ten years imprisonment if the magistrate had opted for a custodial sentence. FILE PHOTO


A motorist in Mombasa who pleaded guilty to causing the death of his 10-year-old brother through dangerous driving was Thursday set free "to live with the consequences of his action".

Zahir Osman Ali who admitted the charge of killing his brother through dangerous driving was in disbelief when Mombasa Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno read his sentence.

The accused, who sobbed for the better part of the five minutes’ judgement, said he was remorseful over what had happened on November 26, 2018.

He faced a maximum of ten years imprisonment if the magistrate had opted for a custodial sentence. The court could also have exercised its powers to cancel his driving licence.

The magistrate, however, noted that there was no value in applying physical sentence on Ali.



“I find no value in meting any other physical sentence. Let the accused live with the consequences of his actions. The accused is discharged,” she said.

In her judgment, Ms Ogweno noted that it was the court’s view that the resultant death of Rehan Kassim is punishment enough for the accused person even though sentence is meant to deliver justice to the victim’s family.

In mitigation, Mr Ali pleaded for leniency and said that the victim was his brother and that the matter was weighing down on the family.

“The deceased is the accused person’s brother, the witnesses are all family members and the matter has taken a toll on the family. We pray for leniency,” the accused said through his lawyer.

The magistrate considered the mitigation in her judgment.

“I note the weighty facts presented herein seeing that the deceased and the accused were family members,”.

Ali was accused of causing the death of his brother when he lost control of the vehicle they were traveling in and rammed into a roundabout embankment resulting in the minor’s death.

The charge sheet indicates that the suspect, being the driver of the vehicle, drove it on a public road recklessly or at speed or in a manner dangerous to the public and lost physical control of the vehicle and rammed into the Mombasa Law Courts roundabout embankment.


The charge stated that due to the impact, the vehicle was extensively damaged and Kassim, who was on-board, sustained serious head injuries and succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment at a Mombasa hospital.

Three other family members who were in the vehicle sustained minor injuries and were discharged after being treated in hospital.

Medical reports indicated that the deceased who was sitting at the back right seat had severe head injuries thus causing his death.

“The point of accident was a roundabout, this shows that he was driving at excessive speed and even did not bother to slow down while approaching the scene of accident,” the police said in their report.

The police recommended prosecution of the suspect indicating that the evidence available pointed to negligence on his part.