Kisumu family hit hard by death of infant

Lancer Achieng tried three times to get a child. Two ended in tragedy.

The mother of Samantha Pendo, the six-month-old girl who died on Tuesday, and whose death now defines police brutality, told of two miscarriages that preceded the child’s birth.

“I experienced difficulties during the delivery of baby Samantha. It was by the grace of the God that I had a successful delivery,” she said.

She had no idea that six months was all baby Samantha would live.

READ: Infant among those hospitalised after riots

Now, the family of the infant who died after sustaining head injuries during a police raid is seeking financial help to offset medical bills.

The medical bills for baby Samantha have accumulated to Sh410,000 since her admission at Aga Khan Hospital Kisumu on Friday night.


Her father, Joseph Abanja told the Nation that the family is raising funds through the M-pesa paybill number 946688 to clear the medical and funeral bills.

“So far we are grateful for the gesture by well-wishers who have contributed Sh56,830. We appeal for help in sending off baby Samantha ,” said Mr Abanja.

Baby Pendo was a victim of the brutal force that anti-riot police unleashed following protests against the presidential results announced on Friday in Kisumu.

ABANJA Kisumu family hit hard by death of infant

Father of late Baby Samantha Pendo, Joseph Abanja, shows the injury on his hand inflicted by police last week. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Her parents were beaten by police officers who stormed their house after they refused to open for fear of being assaulted.

According to Ms Achieng, two officers police  broke into their house and began hitting her.


“It all started at 1am, when police stormed our house. I was carrying the baby in my arms when beat me up and they hit baby Samantha on the head with a club,” said Ms Achieng.

She added: “When the police left, we took the baby to Oasis Hospital in Nyalenda but they could not handle her case. We therefore rushed to Aga Khan Hospital.”

Her husband said that the anti-riot police had threatened to break into the house and shoot them.

“They kept shouting that they would shoot if we didn’t let them in. Finally they threw teargas canisters into the house and beat up my wife, our two children, and me” said Mr Abanja.

Aga Khan Hospital medical superintendent Sam Oula said the infant was admitted to the intensive care unit in critical condition.


“There were small pockets of bleeding inside the brain that made the child slip into a coma. She sustained serious head injuries that led to internal bleeding,” said Dr Oula.

Veteran politician Phoebe Asiyo has asked the government to take responsibility for both medical and funeral arrangements.

“It is wrong for the government to deny that no death happened in Kisumu yet an innocent child has died because of police brutality,” said Dr Asiyo.

 She added: “If I look at this plot where we are standing, really if the baby was beaten these are not demonstrators. These were people in the comfort of their houses.”

The former Karachuonyo MP asked the government to change the way they handle protestors who expressed their grievances over the presidential results.

Nyalenda B MCA Joseph Olale said the police have failed in the role of providing safety to Kenyans.

“We condemn in the strongest way possible the act which was done by the police. The police officers who attacked the infant should be arrested and prosecuted,” said Mr Olale.

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