As Kenya’s beauty queen and most ‘beautiful’ murderer cools her heels at Lang’ata Women’s prison awaiting her date with the hangman, millions of miles away one of the most senior persons revered by millions worldwide and said to communicate with God directly is fighting for her life.
24-year-old Ruth Kamande, who was crowned Miss Lang’ata Prison beauty pageant in 2016, was July sentenced to death by High Court judge Jessie Lessit for stabbing her lover Farid Mohammed more than 22 times.
“I want the youth to know it is not cool to kill your boyfriends or girlfriends. Instead, it is cool to walk away and forget,” Judge Lessit said in her ruling.
Many Kenyans were struck by her beauty with some even questioning if such a beauty should spend the rest of her life in prison her murder charges notwithstanding.
“This girl is so beautiful… she’s so young… she has lost her entire life; that is enough punishment, really,” Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo said
Before her death sentence ruling could even dry, human rights groups led by Amnesty International-Kenya faulted the sentencing and called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene on her case.
“We are concerned that Kenya continues to use this cruel, inhumane and outdated mode of punishment. This sentence is a blow to Kenya’s progressive record in commuting death sentences to terms of imprisonment,” a statement by Executive Director Irungu Houghton read.
The Catholic Church has now come to her rescue and joined calls for completely abolishing the death sentence.
Pope Francis has declared the death penalty “inadmissible” in an update of Catholic believers’ most important guide to Church teaching, the catechism, the Vatican said Thursday.
“The Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that ‘the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person’,” the new text states.
Francis approved the change to the catechism, which covers a wide range of moral and social issues, during a meeting in May with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church’s doctrinal watchdog.
The update also says the Church will “work with determination” for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide.
“Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good,” the new text says.
For the beauty queen with brains, she scored an A- in her 2017 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) exams, who recently converted to Islam and enrolled for a theology course the Pope has certainly heard her prayers loud and clear and he is sure to directly convey them to God, wouldn’t he?