So there you have it. Kenya’s most wanted gangster Samuel Matheri Ikere was gunned down in the wee hours of yesterday morning by a contingent of 100+ police officers. (November Squad? Alaa? Ni kukosa majina au vipi?) Kweli those karaos weren’t taking any risks this time. This one man had managed to instill so much fear into a whole nation and it’s sad that it took a few brave robberies and murders within Nairobi and its environs for the police to realize that they have real work to do apart from soliciting for petty bribes from motorists.
OK, now that Matheri is dead, as well as his accomplice known only as “M” (hmm…anyone seen our resident political satirist lately?) and another character known as “Osama” who opted to take his own life rather than face the G3 battalion, I guess everyone can sleep easy knowing that Kenya will be a much safer place for the next few days. Thugs countrywide must be shaking out of their boots!
But has anyone stopped to think about the manner in which Matheri and his accomplice were gunned down? Sure, the reports say that the police mounted an ambush after tracking him down by GPRS. But nowhere has it been said that he came out with guns blazing! On both KTN and NTV last night, the wife said clearly that the cops ordered him to come out or they’d open fire upon his household. She says that she convinced him to surrender for the sake of the kids and he did just that. Apparently he emerged with his hands to his head, and the two were interrogated for about half an hour before the cops shot them both in the head. The Standard even says that he gave the cops a list of his acccomplices before they killed him! So, was the shooting called for?
The question is this, even though Matheri was the most wanted criminal, was his execution necessary considering the fact that he was un-armed and outnumbered 100-1? The AK-47 was found inside the house and not on his person. Couldn’t they have arrested him instead and let justice take it’s course? Wouldn’t he have been of more use to the cops alive than dead?
An opinion poll conducted by KTN last night showed that 61% of Kenyans would rather have him dead than alive, as compared to the 39% who would rather have him arrested and charged in court.
Let’s look at it this way.
a) majority of Kenyans have no faith in the Judicial system
b) he deserves nothing short of the death penalty but unfortunately that has been scrapped
c) between the time he’s arrested, arraigned in court, sentenced and taken to Kamiti Maximum Prison, he’ll have had like 100 opportunities to escape
d) he deprived others of their right to live, so he has forfeited his own right to live
e) it just makes everyone sleep better knowing that he’s dead.
What would have happened if Matheri was arrested and charged in court? Well, other than several attempts to break out. He’d rot in there for some years like one Edward Maina Shimoli (he of the large middle finger front page photo back in the late 90s, remember him?) Shimoli was an equally notorious criminal and a rapist as well. He was sentenced to 8 years in Kamiti during which time he attempted kadhaa escapes. His prison term ends in the next few months and Kenyans must be afraid of what he’ll do next, since it’s a well known fact that ex-convicts have a tendency to go back into criminal activity due to the inability to find a legit job coz no one wants to hire an ex con. So why bother going through all this when you can just fyatua the faka mara one and get him over with!