Clement Munyao: How a 2nd hand phone landed a Kenyan Neurosurgeon a life imprisonment

Imagine enduring a 30-year prison sentence for a crime you have no knowledge of committing. This is the harrowing tale of Clement Munyaob Katiku, a former neurosurgeon at Kenyatta National Hospital, if his account is to be believed.

Clement Munyao, like many accomplished neurosurgeons, boasts an impressive academic background. He earned his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Nairobi in 1980 and went on to complete his Masters of Human Medicine and Pathology in 1987. His pursuit of knowledge led him to Scotland, UK, where he obtained a master’s degree in human forensic medicine and pathology in 1990.

However, Munyao’s life took a tragic turn in 2009, seemingly triggered by a seemingly innocuous event.

On that particular day, Munyao’s daughter was preparing to enroll at Moi Kabarak University in Eldoret. Insistent on having a means of communication, she refused to embark on the journey without a phone. Munyao found himself approached by a young man he had previously assisted in securing a job as a mortuary attendant at Kenyatta Hospital. The young man urgently needed 1000 Kenyan shillings for a burial in Makueni. In a twist of fate, Munyao agreed to exchange his phone for the required sum.

Unbeknownst to Munyao, this seemingly benign transaction would set off a chain of events that would alter the course of his life. Shortly after, he began receiving mysterious calls from unfamiliar numbers. These calls culminated in a visit from officers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, who revealed that Munyao’s daughter and her boyfriend were being held at Kilimani Police Station. The boyfriend, Justus, had been found in possession of a phone linked to a crime, and Munyao’s daughter allegedly implicated her father in the acquisition of the phone.

Further investigation revealed a convoluted trail of ownership, implicating multiple individuals, including Munyao’s daughter’s boyfriend and the former Police Commissioner Mathiu Iteere’s brother, who had been murdered by robbers.

Despite Munyao’s attempts to clarify his innocence and provide evidence of the phone’s purchase, he found himself ensnared in the legal system. He and eight others were detained at Kilimani Police Station, facing charges related to the stolen phone.

Despite his protests and attempts to prove his innocence, Munyao was convicted and sentenced to death during the initial court proceedings. His subsequent appeal was dismissed, further entrenching his dire situation.

Reflecting on his time behind bars, Munyao offered a somber warning to others, urging them to swiftly resolve any encounters with law enforcement to avoid enduring the harsh reality of prison life.

Clement Munyao’s ordeal serves as a poignant reminder of the injustices that can befall individuals who find themselves unjustly entangled in the legal system.