Johannesburg – A Kenyan caregiver has been jailed for three years for the killing of a child who suffered from cerebral palsy.
High Court judge Stella Mutuku sentenced Jackline Murunga after finding her guilty of the manslaughter of her employer’s son on May 27. At the end of the sentence Murunga will be placed on supervised probation for two years.
The accused had been working at the home of Miriam Njeri Ndung’u at the Capital Hill estate in Ruai, Nairobi, as a caregiver to two children, including the deceased.
On the day of the murder, the children's mother found the accused outside the homestead at a construction site of a pit latrine. An argument between the two women ensued with the mother questioning why the helper had left the deceased child alone.
On returning to the house, the mother found the child, who was still alive at that stage, sitting on the sofa crying.
Ndung’u went to work but later in the evening, however, when she returned home from work she found the sibling of the deceased child unusually playing alone outside. Inside the house the mother discovered the deceased child lying in bed as if sleeping. However, he was already dead.
The matter was reported to the police who arrested the accused the following day despite her denials and claims she had been chased away from the house by the mother earlier in the day so was not the last person to be seen with the dead child.
The prosecution presented a knife as evidence but the pathologist report showed the deceased died due to head injuries from blunt force.
But the judge ruled the death was not from malice and not premeditated.
African News Agency/ANA