Raila Proposes Death Penalty For Bandits

  • Azimio presidentialcandidate Raila Odinga and leaders from the Ukambani Region during a rally in Athi River on Sunday, June 12, 2022
    Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga and leaders from the Ukambani Region during a rally in Athi River on Sunday, June 12, 2022.
    Raila Odinga
  • Azimio la Umoja One Kenya flagbearer Raila Odinga on Tuesday, June 21, recommended the death penalty as a long-lasting solution to end banditry attacks in Northern Kenya - despite the Supreme Court declaring the mandatory death sentence unconstitutional.

    Speaking during a rally in Gabra Tulla, Isiolo County, Odinga proposed that the bandits be executed once arrested, as a lasting solution for the perennial problem.

    The ODM party leader noted that the attacks had gone out of hand, with many Kenyans losing their lives and property.

    Azimio flagbearer Raila Odiga during a rally at Gabratulla , Isiolo County on Tuesday, June 21, 2022
    Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga during a rally at Gabratulla, Isiolo County on Tuesday, June 21, 2022.
    Raila Odinga

    "We can no longer condone Kenyans being killed by thugs without anything being done. If you are among those going around attacking residents and taking lives, then you will be arrested and killed.

    "We will ensure that Kenyans feel safe when they are going to sleep without fears of being attacked by bandits," the former Prime Minister declared.

    The presidential candidate promised that if elected into office, he would end inter-community clashes witnessed in the region.

    However in delivering of the ruling in the case of Francis Muruatetu and Wolson Thirimbu Mwangi, the Supreme Court of Kenya, ruled that the mandatory nature of the death penalty as stipulated  under section 204 of the Penal Code was unconstitutional.

    "The mandatory nature of the death sentence as provided for under Section 204 of the Penal Code is hereby declared unconstitutional. For the avoidance of doubt, this order does not disturb the validity of the death sentence as contemplated under Article 26(3) of the Constitution," read the declaration in part.

    The court explained that the mandatory death penalty deprived the courts of their legitimate jurisdiction to exercise discretion not to impose the death sentence in appropriate cases even after mitigating circumstances.

    Further, the bench noted that the sentence imposed fails to conform to the tenets of fair trial for accused persons under Articles 25 of the Constitution.

    "For the avoidance of doubt, this decision does not outlaw the death penalty, which is still applicable as a discretionary maximum punishment. This Court’s decision in Muruatetu, did not invalidate mandatory sentences or minimum sentences in the Penal Code, the Sexual Offences Act or any other statute," ruled the court.

    In the latest attack on April 9, nine people were killed and six others were injured by bandits. Local leaders called on the government to beef up security in the region to save the situation with the ministry of interior conducting operations to flush out attackers.

    A gun-carrying bandit
    An undated image of a gun-carrying bandit.
    death gun arrest killed thug