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July 11, 2024
Kampala Daily
The officer is said to have been angered by the court's decision to cancel her bail after she had absconded | Courtesy
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Magistrate Dies After Shooting By Policeman

A Kenyan magistrate who was shot by a senior police officer earlier this week has died, according to the country’s chief justice.

Justice Martha K Koome wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that Makadara Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti had “lost the fight” against her “extensive injuries”.

Ms Kivuti was shot by a policeman at a court in the capital, Nairobi, on Thursday after she cancelled his wife’s bail due to the woman’s absconding.

The policeman, identified as Samson Kipchirchir Kipruto, was himself shot dead by other officers following the attack.

Three of these officers were hurt in the attack but are said to be in a stable condition.

“It is with a heavy heart that I inform the nation that Hon. Monica Kivuti, Principal Magistrate, Makadara Law Courts has lost the fight against the extensive injuries sustained during an open gun attack in Court,” said Justice Koome in a statement on Saturday.

“The Judiciary family stands in solidarity during this deeply traumatic time and calls for sensitivity and compassion as we share in grief.”

According to The Star newspaper, which spoke to a source at Nairobi Hospital, Ms Kivuti died on Friday night after she was shot in the chest and leg.

The Makadara Law Courts are due to remain closed until Monday.

The national police service said in a statement on Thursday that Kipruto, who was in charge of a police station in Londiani in western Kenya, had been in the court for “unknown reasons” during a hearing in the case of his wife. She was accused of receiving money “under false pretences”.

Investigations into what happened are continuing.

Justice Koome said it was clear Kipruto had intended to kill Ms Kivuti.

The incident inside the courtroom has come as a shock to Kenyans.

The police have often been accused of being involved in extra-judicial killings but no such incident has been reported inside court.

The judiciary has said it would enhance security measures and has assured judicial staff and other court users of their safety and security.

The Law Society of Kenya said in a statement that the incident was “not an isolated event but part of a troubling trend of increasing threats and attacks against judicial officers and advocates”.

“Legal disputes can be highly emotive, and the risks to judicial officers and advocates cannot be understated.”

The society added that it would work with Justice Koome to “develop comprehensive strategies aimed at safeguarding our justice system and its practitioners”.

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