Monayo remembered Omina fondly saying the allotment project, aimed at keeping idle young men out of trouble, had been good for him. “He was a changed man. He focused on the garden, not on the streets outside.”
When police broke up the crowd at the school, Omina ran with his friends. They went around the corner, up a gentle incline, and towards home, pursued by cops. At a tee-junction a few-hundred meters away, they found Huruma Road empty, its wooden stalls abandoned, doors shut, and stoops empty. “When we reached the junction the police started shooting at us,” Erick said with some hesitation (Fearing the police might come after him too, he declined to give his full name.)
The friends scrambled through an open downstairs door, slamming it behind them as a half-dozen gunshots cracked outside. But Omina was no longer with them. Erick peered through a gap between the metal door and its frame and saw his friend lying face down in the mud, his dark hoody flopped over his shaved head. “Omina, anuka! Omina, kuja!” he called out in Swahili: Get up! Come here! Omina didn’t move.
The police moved towards Omina’s motionless body. Erick watched through the crack in the door as they barely glanced at the prone body before turning up another alley and leaving. The silence that followed the gunfire was broken as people emerged. “They began screaming and came to carry him,” Erick said. Someone rolled Omina onto his back, revealing a bloody puncture in his forehead above his right eye. Then he was lifted and carried across the street to a small medical clinic, where he was laid on a metal bed with a plastic-covered mattress. Erick said he was breathing then, but stopped soon after.
Achieng received a phone call from someone at the clinic a few minutes later. As she rushed there in a panic, she was uncertain of Omina’s whereabouts. The huddle of his friends outside the clinic was a warning, the screams of “Wamemwua!”—they have killed him—the confirmation.
Achieng pushed through the crowd. She saw her dead husband, his t-shirt hoisted up to his chest, a mess of bloodied clothes around him, and a wad of cotton wool sticking from a neat wound in his head; she fainted. Although three others died violently in Kenya on that October 26 election day, Omina was the only one killed in Nairobi.
The Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), a Kenyan group that tracks illegal killings and torture and carries out autopsies on victims, said in a report soon after the rerun that police used “excessive and indiscriminate force including lethal force … especially in areas where opposition supporters heeded their leaders’ call for a boycott.” IMLU said police shot 34 people, killing 13 of them, between October 25 and 28 alone.
George Kinoti, then a spokesman for the national police, sought to counter IMLU’s “sensational reporting” and defend officers’ actions. In a brief statement, Kinoti claimed just two people died in Nairobi—one shot while carrying “a Somali sword,” the other burned by a mob, he said. He did not include Omina in the tally and police said they have no record of Omina’s death, and deny any responsibility for it.