As the old adage goes, justice delayed is justice denied.
For the family of Ivy Wangechi, the Moi University medical trainee who was brutally killed in 2019, theirs has been a long wait for justice.
On Thursday, the hearing of the case was postponed a fifth time, this time because the accused, Naftali Kinuthia’s lawyer, withdrew from the case citing frustration from his client.
Mr Kinuthia faces a murder charge for organising and executing the gruesome murder of Ms Wangechi on April 9, 2019 outside the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret.
The accused allegedly hacked the sixth year medical student outside MTRH as she left the facility after conducting ward rounds routine.
Ms Wangechi’s mother, Winfred King’ori, who was in court when the case was adjourned a fifth time, said it was about time the case begun so she can get justice for her deceased daughter.
“We spend between Sh60,000 and Sh100, 000 on expenses for every trip to bring all these witnesses. Emotionally and financially nobody seems to care for what we as the victim’s family is going through,” said Ms King’ori, who was accompanied by family members and her lawyer, Kiroko Ndegwa.
She added that the matter should be expedited so that the family can get justice and closure on the matter.
Thursday’s adjournment occurred after the withdrawal of defence counsel Henry Kenei.
Mr Kenei told the Nation on phone that he was forced to withdraw from the case due to frustrations from his client whom he accused of forcing him to make decisions which are not professional.
He also accused his client of lack of cooperation among other issues that he said violate the flow of the justice system.
“I have decided to decline to continue representing my client in this matter due to his lack of cooperation. It is unfortunate that my client is not ready to follow my legal advice as defence lawyer,” said Mr Kenei.
High Court judge Stephen Githinji, who is presiding over the matter, regretted the adjournment.
Prosecution had aligned eight witnesses.
“As a judge, I was ready to listen to all eight witnesses bearing in mind that this matter has been pending in court for the last one year,” noted Justice Githinji.
Having travelled to Eldoret and facilitated the travel of eight witnesses as she has done in several previous scheduled court appearances that were also postponed, Ms King’ori protested the postponement.
Lawyer Ndegwa expressed his dissatisfaction in the manner in which the defence has been handling the matter.
Justice Githinji directed Deputy Registrar Grace Sitati to immediately appoint another lawyer to the accused to fast track the case.
The judge directed the case to be mentioned on June 9.