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Six month-old Baby Pendo succumbs to police injuries in Kisumu

A six-month-old infant who had slipped into a coma after sustaining head injuries during the recent post-election police raids in Nyalenda slum, Kisumu County, has died.

The family of Samantha Pendo, the little baby who has come to define the brutal force with which the police used to subdue protesters last Friday, succumbed on Tuesday evening at around 5pm.

Her father, Joseph Abanja told said he had expected his child would survive the injuries. That was not to be.

“I thought she could live, but it was not to be. I am still coming to terms as she is no more,” the shocked Abanja said.

Baby Pendo suffered head injuries between Friday night and early  Saturday early morning when police raided houses in Nyalenda slum during demonstrations by people opposed to presidential results.


The baby’s aunt Elpine Aleto, who had been a caregiver, said the baby died at around five in the evening.

The infant’s mother Lancer Achieng’ had said that the police broke into her house when they were asleep.

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

She said that they later turned on her husband and attacked him on the head, hands and private parts.

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

Aga Khan Hospital Medical Superintendent Sam Oula had said that the infant was admitted at the hospital ICU in critical condition, with serious head injuries.


“There were small pockets of bleeding inside the brain that has led the child to slip into coma. The baby sustained serious head injuries that led to internal bleeding,” Dr Oula had said last weekend.

Mr Abanja said the anti-riot police had threatened to shoot them when they broke into the house, seeking alleged criminals who had taken advantage of the demos to loot.

“They kept saying that they would shoot us if we don’t allow them in. Finally they threw the teargas canisters into the house, beat my wife and my two children,”  he said.

Mr Abanja and his wife were also treated with swollen arms and head injuries at Jaramogi Odinga Oginga Teaching and Referral Hospital.