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Death sentence against prison beauty queen who stabbed boyfriend 25 times upheld

By Hilary Kimuyu November 6th, 2020 1 min read

The Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the death sentence against Ruth Kamande, who was accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend 25 times using a kitchen knife in Buruburu estate in September 2015.

High Court judge Justice Jessie Lessit, while sentencing her to death in 2017, said Kamande deliberately stabbed Farid Mohammed 25 times.

Justice Lessit, in her ruling, said that “young people should know it is not cool to kill your boyfriend or girlfriend, instead it is cool to walk away from such a relationship when it breaks down.”

Kamande, who was later crowned Miss Langata Women’s Prison beauty queen in 2016 while behind bars, appealed the sentence which has been confirmed by the Court of Appeal.

In mitigation, Ms Kamande told the court she had reformed since staying in remand for two years and nine months, and that she was remorseful.

Justice Lessit committed the beauty queen to death despite the penalty having been lifted by a superior court saying her court was free to exercise judicial discretion.

She noted that despite the Supreme Court finding the death penalty unconstitutional, in a decision it rendered in December last year, the punishment was still enshrined in statutes.

“In my view, the discretion to pass a sentence other than death in capital offences should only be exercised in deserving cases. I do not find this a deserving case and I think passing any other sentence than the one prescribed would turn the accused into a hero,” the judge said during Kamande’s sentencing.

She added, “I want young people to know that it is not cool to kill your boyfriend or girlfriend even where you feel disappointed or frustrated – don’t do it. Instead, it is cool to walk away and thereafter to forgive.”