According to the information received, on March 5, 2009, at 7.30 pm, while Messrs. Oscar Kamau King’ara and John Paul Oulua were driving towards the office of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, their vehicle was blocked by two vehicles – a minibus and a pajero full of men, which had been trailing them, on Mamlaka road, outside Hall 11.
Mr Oscar Kamau King’ara and Mr John Paul Oulu of the Oscar Foundation were shot dead on March 5, 2009, hours after government spokesman Alfred Mutua accused the group of aiding the outlawed Mungiki sect.https://t.co/q9QMrEobB0
— Sura Mbaya (@surambaya) August 18, 2018
Two men walked to their car and shot them through the window at point-blank range by the group of men while sitting in their car in heavy traffic near Nairobi University. Witnesses said Mr. King’ara was shot four times on the head and Mr. Oulu three times. The two men then jumped into their car and sped off towards the city centre.
According to eyewitnesses, the driver of a minibus was in police uniform. An eyewitness at the scene was also shot in the leg and was later taken away from the scene by policemen. While the nearest police station is located 1 km away, the central police did not arrive at the scene until more than three hours after the assault.
Later that night, a university student was shot dead in a confrontation with police after the killing of two human rights activists.
OFFLACK has been a major source of information to Parliament on atrocities playing out against the poor in the country. In 2008, OFFLACK released a report on extra judicial executions in Kenya entitled “The veil of impunity – who is guilty?”.
On February 18, 2009, before Parliament debated the motion on extrajudicial killings, he presented Oscar Foundation’s findings on ongoing extra judicial killings to Hon.
Peter Mwathi, the motion’s mover. Their last engagement with Parliament was a presentation to the Kioni Committee investigating organized gangs, a few days before the assassination. Messrs. King’ara and Oulu had also met UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Killings Philip Alston last month.
In November 2007, OFFLACK reported that in the five years up to August, 2007, Kenyan police had killed over 8,000 people in crackdowns against the Mungiki sect , with further 4,000 people still missing. Meanwhile, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights linked the police to the execution of 500 Mungiki over the previous five months. The police had described the reports as fictitious.
One day before, at his weekly briefing, the Government Spokesman, Dr. Alfred Mutua made public allegations according to which OFFLACK was a civil society front for Mungiki , and “[they were] going to deal with it”.
The Observatory fears that both human rights defenders were killed because of the sensitive information they had shared with both Prof. Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on summary and extrajudicial killings and with Kenyan MPs.
The Observatory also condemns the statement made by the Government spokesman, which, in the context of the so-called “war on Mungiki”, may be interpreted as a blank cheque for targeting people justly or unjustly related to them and urges the Kenyan authorities to support publicly the legitimacy and the necessity of the work carried out by human rights defenders.
Finally the Observatory urges the Kenyan authorities to ensure that these assassinations do not remain unpunished and order a thorough and impartial investigation into the assassinations.