In May 2020, painful images of a man sleeping next to the coffin of his late wife at a police station emerged.
An uproar flooded social media as Kenyans sympathized with the man. Many asked for stringent action to be taken against the police officers.
One year down the line, the sun has finally dawned on Charles Mwenda after a court awarded him Sh1.5 million as compensation.
A ruling by Meru High Court Judge Justice Edward Murithi directed the Inspector General of Police (IG) to pay Mwenda Sh1.5 million for breach of his human rights.
For instance, the judge concluded that Mwenda’s rights and freedoms under the Bill of Rights where he was forced to sleep outside the police station with his wife’s body were violated.
In a detailed Facebook post, Mwenda had narrated the ordeal where he traveled from Malindi with several mourners with his wife’s body in a casket.
At this time, the country had recorded high Covid-19 infections thus tough restrictions and containment measures were in place including a ban of movement to and from various counties.
Mwenda stated that prior to leaving for the burial, he had obtained all the relevant documents as directed by the Ministry of Health.
However, trouble began when he crossed the Meru-Tharaka Nithi border with officers directing everyone in the van including the mourners to return to Malindi.
Mwenda was then ushered into a police vehicle where he was ferried at Kanjai Police Station and left by the roadside with the wife’s body in a casket.
“I pleaded with the police to help me get the body to my home, which is 5 km from the police station, but they refused,” Mwenda said.
Mwenda was forced to spend the night in the cold while it was raining with his deceased wife’s body next to him.