Wesley Momanyi, a barber at Mbungoni


Wesley Momanyi, a barber at Mbungoni, Nyali constituency explains how Police Officers at Mbungoni Police post led to the death of his 2-weeks-old baby because of Sh 1000 bribe.

Momanyi says his two-week-old baby died because he was locked in a Nyali police cell over a ministry of health measures violation and didn't secure  Sh1,000 for his release.

He was arrested when he was opening his shop. The Police said there was no Sanitizer or a dish to wash hands outside. However, the washing hands station was inside the shop.

So he couldn't get his firstborn to the hospital in time to save his life.

Barber Wesley Momanyi blamed Mbungoni police for his son's death.

He added that the Police officers wouldn't listen to his requests to be allowed to take his baby to the hospital.

The baby boy had developed breathing problems on Saturday and had to be hospitalised.

 Momanyi said he didn't have the Sh1,000 needed to secure his release. So he couldn't help his son.

The infant died of pneumonia.

He was arrested and charged for having no handwashing station. He said he was just opening the shop and it hadn't been set up yet, but he had hand sanitiser.

The police took him to Mbungoni police post. He is the only breadwinner in the family.

Momanyi, 32, was opening his barbershop at 10 am on Saturday when police arrived.

“They asked where my handwashing station was because I had not yet taken it out. I told them I had sanitizer for clients. They arrested me,” Momanyi broke down to tears.

The police ordered him to close shop, took him to the police post and locked him.

At around 5 pm his wife called saying their two-week-old baby boy was sick and demanded to be taken to hospital.

“I explained this to the officers but they would hear none of it. They told me to call my people so they could come and get me out, or I would spend the night there," Momanyi said.

At 8 pm, one of his loyal clients called. When he found out the barber was detained, he rushed there, talked to police and gave them Sh1,000.

The police released him.

“When I got home, I was informed my baby had been rushed to Beyondscope Hospital in Bakarani," Momanyi said.

But medics announced that the baby had breathing problems and had to be admitted to the ICU at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital.

They got to CGTRH at 11 pm, the baby was admitted and put on oxygen.

“At around midnight my baby closed his eyes and was gone,” Momanyi said.

They went home with the baby’s body.

On Sunday morning, Momanyi went back to the Mbungoni police post to report his son’s death, accusing the police officers of it.

“Had I been around when my baby started crying, I would have taken him to the hospital immediately. But I was in a cell at a police post because I had no money on me then,” he added.

“I realised the police were only interested in money because all the arrested people were released immediately after bribing them," Momanyi said.

The baby was buried on Sunday at Mkunazini cemetery in Soweto, Mbungoni.

Nyali sub-county police commander Daniel Masaba the matter is under investigation.

“I have sent Mwatamba police station OCS to investigate but from the preliminary reports I have, can the police be linked [to the death]?” Masaba asked.

The sub-county police commander Daniel Masaba now awaits a full report from the OCS before giving his full statement on the happenings.

Muslims for Human Rights rapid response officer Francis Auma stated that the police officers are punishable because they value money more than life.

“Police can be obliquely linked to the death because they arrested a man for inadequate reasons because they wanted a bribe,” Auma said.

He said there are many cases in which police violate their authority to extract money from citizens.

“If they were kind enough to release the man so he could attend to the emergency, maybe the infant’s life could have been saved,” Auma said.

He said many police officers are using the pandemic to make money.

“Police posts are worse than police stations. They only talk of corruption because most of the time they are not watched effectively. Its only money that gives the arrested freedom,” Auma said.

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