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Desperate families write to Uhuru over kin held in South Sudan

Esther Wanjiku Gathoni mother of one of the victims arrested

Four families whose relatives are serving a 72-year sentence each in South Sudan have written to President Kenyatta to help secure their release.

The four Kenyans were sentenced over alleged plot to defraud the government in Juba. The families started a vigil outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nairobi yesterday as part of efforts to have their case heard.

They decided to write the open letter to the President through the local dailies because they were not getting much help from the said ministry.

“We have not received any call even after putting these adverts but we hope help will come because the boys are relying on us to bail them out,” said Tejal Ghaghda who is one of those who put up the advert.

The four — Antony Mwadime, Ravi Ghaghda, Boniface Muriuki and Antony Keya — who previously worked with Click Technologies Limited in South Sudan, were accused of an attempt to defraud President Salva Kiir’s office in the capital Juba of Sh1.4 billion ($14 million).

The families, through their representatives — Esther Kamotho, mother of Anthony Mwadime, Ghaghda, sister of Ravi Ghaghda, Ruth Muriuki, Boniface Muriuki’s sister and Esther Osanya, wife of Antony Keya, have expressed disaffection with the manner in which the cases were handled.

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“We the families of the four Kenyans who are wrongly serving 72-year jail sentences in South Sudan pray for your kind indulgence on the matter,” the letter said in part.

It added the process that led to their arrest, detention, trial and eventual sentencing fell short of major internationally accepted principles and standards of fair hearing in material ways. A hashtag #FreeSSudan4, Twitter handle @FreeSSudan4, Facebook account FreeSSudan4 and website www.fokas.or.ke have been launched as part of the campaign for the release of the four.

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