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Girl killed in protest laid to rest amid compensation demands

Friday August 25 2017

Stephanie Moraa during riots in Mathare, Nairobi

Mourners view the body of the late Stephanie Moraa who were shot during riots in Mathare, Nairobi. More than 33 people were killed in aftermath of August 8 poll, says HRW and Amnesty International. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAGATI OBEBO
By MAGATI OBEBO
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A nine-year-old girl who was killed in protests in Nairobi two weeks ago was buried Friday amid demands for justice.

Mourners gathered in Isecha, Manga, Kisii County, for the burial of Stephanie Moraa.

The girl was felled by a bullet during riots in Mathare.

CONDOLENCES
Stephanie’s parents George and Damacline Mokaya accused the government of not even consoling them.

They said they were kept in the dark on any investigations into the death.

They described the incident as having dealt a severe blow to the family.

The family said they want justice for their young one.

“We want the circumstances surrounding her death to be investigated to their logical conclusion,” Mr Mokaya said, adding that no government official even paid the family a visit to console them.

POLICE
He eulogised his daughter as a “brilliant girl” in whom he had banked his hope.

Mr Mokaya, at some point, claimed there were some individuals who wanted to steal the body and dump it elsewhere.

He and his wife believe their child was shot by police pursuing protesters, who had come out to demonstrate against the announcement of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the General Election.

PEACE
However, the police deny firing the bullet. They said they have launched investigations into the matter.

Mr Mokaya urged churches and the clergy to pray for the nation to maintain peace.

Mr Mokaya, a staunch National Super Alliance supporter, said he believes the coalition’s leader, Mr Raila Odinga, deserved a chance to be president.

“Let us elect any leaders irrespective of tribe as long as they have the potential to lead the country,” he told mourners.

VIOLENCE
Mrs Mokaya described her daughter’s death as having left a big gap in her heart.

“She was the only daughter I played with. We ate and laughed together,” she said in her tribute.

The mother of two said she could not understand how her daughter died as result of a political struggle she knew nothing of.

“My daughter did not know what elections were all about. Her death has now epitomised the struggle she had little to do with,” Mrs Mokaya said.

COMPENSATION
Family members said all they want is for the government to “come clean on the matter”.

Mr Mokaya Ingare, the girl’s grandfather, urged the government to compensate the family for the loss.

Mr Jackson Mokaya, the victim’s uncle, said the family will not rest till justice has been done.

“We cannot come to terms with the death. This is a loss we have refused to accept and we want explanations from the government,” he said.

The daughters of two of Mrs Mokaya’s sisters were shot in riots in the past.