Kenyan Beauty Queen, Ruth Kamande given Death Sentence: Justified or Not?
Crimes of passion are sadly a trend on the rise in Africa as young people are killing their significant others. A case that stands out is of the Kenyan beauty queen, Ruth Kamande who stabbed her boyfriend, Farid Mohammed, to death back in 2015. Kamande stabbed her then-boyfriend over 20 times with a kitchen knife, her crime alone is enough to put her on the map but Kamande has also sparked debate over the death penalty.
Ruth Kamande was sentenced to death back in July 2018, a sentencing that caused great outcry not only from Kenyan locals but the international community.
Some are still of the opinion that the punishment fits the crime, yet others find the sentence inhumane.
Judge Jessie Lesiit said,
“I want young people to know that it is not cool to kill your boyfriend or girlfriend even when you feel disappointed or frustrated – don’t do it”
The judge shared these sentiments during the sentencing.
“I think passing any other sentence than the one prescribed death would turn the accused into a hero,” said Judge Lesiit.
One should keep in mind that no executions have been undertaken in Kenya since 1987, in the case of Kenya Air Force senior private official Hezekiah Ochuka and Pancras Oteyo Okumu were hanged for treason.
Amnesty International called the sentence “cruel, inhumane and outdated” along with those that support this point of view on the matter, rehabilitation is seen as the better solution considering the alleged improvements the accused has made in custody since 2015.
Irungu Houghton, The human rights organization’s director said,
“This sentence is a blow to Kenya’s progressive record in commuting death sentences to terms of imprisonment.”
Kenya has had an operative ban on the carrying out of death sentences and since 1987, no death row prisoner has been executed. Kamande’s lawyer, Joyner Okonjo, said she would appeal the sentence.
Kamande claimed that she stabbed Mohammed out of self-defence; alleging that she had discovered he was HIV positive.
“Farid told me that he would rather kill me and himself than have his status exposed,” Kamande said, the ruling judge, however, did not buy this explanation or Kamande’s claim of rape.
Another question is, who is to carry out this hanging?
The last known hangman of Kenya who served at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison died in 2009 after a suspected pneumonia attack.