Two people accused of forging the signature of a mental patient in an attempt to steal his ancestral land have cast doubt on a report that the plaintiff is ill.
Ali Merabu Imbundu and Peter Zakayo Olukhalikha said the man might be able to “talk and do some things like normal people”, a question a clinician who presented the report sought to clarify.
“Mental illness is complex, that doesn’t mean you have to walk around naked or in ragged clothes to earn the title. You can be an adult, know where you live and even be able to say a few words but not be able to weigh the consequences of your actions like the plaintiff you are accused of stealing,” said Dr Linah Akelo, a psychiatrist from the Kakamega Reference Hospital.
“We examined him as a patient on January 14, 2021 and realized he was incoherent in his speech and could not even carry on a conversation. His condition is developmental disability. We have therefore determined that he is not was not fit to represent himself in court.
The two, charged with conspiracy to defraud the sick man’s one-acre plot of land in Lusheya village, Mumias East, among other charges, had previously challenged the labeling of the plaintiff as a vulnerable witness who needs to be represented.
They insisted that he personally appear in the dock to argue his case and not Catherine Shiundu, head of Mumias Disability Section, who offered to act on his behalf.
“We are aggrieved by the State’s request to have the Complainant represented by Ms. Shiundu. We have no documents proving that Ms. Shiundu acts for people with disabilities, even anything showing that the plaintiff is indeed mentally ill,” the defendant said through his lawyer.
“How did he (the complainant) take a statement to the police if he really is mentally ill? »
State attorney Chacha Kwame rebutted the argument saying the defendants were only buying time to deny justice to the plaintiff – who often gets lost without a trace due to his mental state.