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RIP: Woman who became activist after sons were shot dead, killed by floods

A woman who became an activist after her two sons were brutally murdered during protests against the 2017 presidential election results, has died.

Benna Buluma died on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, after her home in the Mathare slums of Nairobi County was flooded.

She was the mother of Bernard Odoyo, 25, and Victor Okoth, 22, who were shot dead in separate locations on the same day during protests called by opposition leader Raila Odinga, who lost to former president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Since the death of her two sons, Buluma has become an activist, fighting for the rights of young men killed by police in Nairobi County.

Whenever there was a demonstration against police brutality, Buluma was at the forefront.

In an earlier interview, she said her son was shot by plainclothes police and when he did not die immediately, another group of police armed with clubs beat him until he died. Victor was shot at the Number 10 bus terminal.

The incident attracted the attention of members of the public, who began shouting at the officers to stop attacking him. The noise fell on deaf ears.

Bernard, on the other hand, had just walked into an M-Pesa shop to withdraw some money when he was also shot dead. He had left his wife preparing lunch and had gone to buy food when he was shot in the head.

“The police pumped a bullet right into his head and he died on the spot,” she said.

The National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD) mourned Buluma, saying she was very brave.

“It is with deep sadness that the Defenders Coalition and the community of human rights defenders mourn the passing of Benna Buluma, a courageous young activist and leader in the struggle for justice,” the NCHRD said in a statement.

It revealed that she was among the lives lost to the prolonged rains that have wreaked havoc in several parts of the country.

The statement said her life was marked by resilience and commitment to seeking truth and justice for victims of police impunity.

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