Used and dumped; Baby Pendo mum in fresh regrets

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Lenser Achieng, the mother to the late Baby Samantha Pendo is in tears once again.

She feels used by leaders whose intentions, she says, were to make political mileage out of her predicament.

And after the public stunts, all those flowery promises have disappeared, as she watches justice slip from her hand.

The fuel guzzlers that zoomed into her residence carrying heavily accompanied politicians have been replaced by solitude and whispers by naysayers rumoormongering how she has squandered millions she was compensated for the death of her daughter.

“I feel betrayed, and I regret posing for the public stunt photos, and the media interviews which they took advantage of,” said Lenser.

When Lake Region Bulletin visited her at her Nyalenda Kilo home, Lenser was a distraught mother.

“Enough with the media interviews. Let us just talk about anything but not Baby Pendo issues, because I am tired of it,” said Lenser after we exchanged pleasantries.

Our mission was to do a follow up on the status of the matter after Magistrate Court in Kisumu, in February 2019 found ten police officers culpable of the death of the baby.

Lenser Achieng takes oath before testifying during the inquest into Baby Pendo death. (Photo: Courtesy)

Inquest ruling

The court had, in an inquest to trace the killers of the then six months old baby, recommended the prosecution of the officers, and asked Lenser’s family to file for compensation from the government following the loss.

But until by the time our team visited Lenser last week, nothing has transpired after this ruling.

“There isn’t much to report on that. We have no money to proceed from there, and all those leaders who thronged here during the trying moment who had promised to ensure we get justice have since disappeared,” said Lenser.

Baby Pendo died on August 14, 2017, four days after she suffered head injuries following attack by anti-riot police officers who had raided their house in Nyalenda during the demonstrations against Presidential election results.

Her father, Joseph Abanja also sustained head and arm injuries during the attack.

After failure to put a face to the attackers, an inquest was launched, which saw the officers who had been manning the area on the fateful day found to be culpable.

Family and friends converge around the casket bearing the remains of Baby Pendo ahead of her burial. (Photo: Courtesy)

Publicity stunts

According to Lenser, immediately after the incident was reported, leaders after leaders thronged her house, condoling with the family and promising to ensure justice is served.

Others promised job opportunities, addressing press conferences in her company.

“Little did I know that all these were publicity stunts that they were using to earn political mileage,” said Lenser.

As we proceeded with the chat, we inquire what her neaxt move would be, especially after it became clear to her that she was now all alone.

“I am struggling to move on, may be when I die. I have not forgiven anyone who did this, and I hope one day we will get justice,” she says.

She however says that some organizations had approached her with the intention to help chase the justice, but she had nothing much to report.

As the 2022 general election count-down begins, Lencer is counting down to escape from the city so that she cannot stand being in the same house during another election.

“I will not vote in August. I can’t stand lining up to cast my vote after that nasty experience,” she says.

Lenser says she is nolonger at ease interacting with police officers.

“When am walking and I see a police officer, the picture of my dead daughter pops up in my mind and I take a different route,” she said.

Kevine Omollo
Kevine Omollo
Lake Region Bulletin is your one stop multi-media platform for news from Lake Region Counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Kericho and Bomet. Email: komollo@lakeregionbulletin.co.ke omollokevine@gmail.com

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