Whats happening with Meena?

Friends and colleagues have asked me what is going on with Meena. The short answer is that ‘it’s complicated’. So decided to give you the play by-play.

All I aim to do is present common knowledge and information from documents in the public domain. It would be irresponsible to interfere with an ongoing court case, so I wouldn’t want to do that.

Grapevine Time Line,

Amina Shiraz Yakub, is the CEO of Very Impawtant Pets Spa. The company deals with pet grooming, boarding services and offers the KSPCA periodic assistance with its pet services.

In the dog world, during the months of March to May 2015, her friends and colleagues sent up prayers for her husbands full recovery. He was sick, in and out of ICU, and even had to go South Africa for further treatment. She was missed at dog events during those times, when she could only appear briefly before returning to tend to him.

During the week of the 26th July 2015, he was due to return to South Africa for follow up treatment, but Jimmy Jagathrum Baburam sadly passed away. He left behind his wife, Amina, three children aged 10, 4 and 2 at the time, his father and three brothers. He had drowned due to an epileptic seizure whilst swimming.

Legal Timeline

  • 26th July 2015, Jimmy Jagathrum Baburam passed away while on holiday at Medina Palms Hotel.
  • 27th July 2015 autopsy was conducted and official death certificate issued.
  • 26th of April 2016, nine months later, Meena received an official summons to Malindi Court for a Murder Inquest that was to determine whether or not there was reason to conduct a murder investigation.
  • 18th May, the Murder Inquest had its first mention at Malindi Law Courts and was postponed.
  • 15th July the inquest had a mention and the next date set was 30th September.
  • 30th September there was a mention next date postponed to the 14th
  • The inquest has not followed up after the 30th of September, 2016.

Detainment Timeline

Week 1.

Amina was arrested on the 9th of October 2016, at Moi international airport, on her way back to Nairobi from Mombasa, after a weekend trip. {In custody at Malindi police station}.

Judge wasn’t sitting on the 10th . . {In custody at Malindi police station}.

The state requested to do a mental assessment on whether or not she was fit to face trail on the 11th October. The request was accepted. {In custody at Malindi police station}.

Mental assessment done in Mombasa, on the 12th . {Assesment conducted at Coast Province General Hospital, after which she was returned to custody at Malindi Police Station.}

13th she was arraigned in court to be formally charged with the murder of her late husband.

Upon hearing the defence and prosecutions arguments for her release on bail, the judge slated a date of the bail hearing for the 26th of October, 2 weeks later, during which time she was remanded.

She spent the 14th to 16th of October in Mtaangani Prison, Womens Quarters.

Week 2.

Began and ended in Remand at Mtaangani Prison, Womens Quarters.

Week 3.

23rd to 26th October, she was still remanded in Mtaangani Prison, Womens Quarters.

During the ruling of the 26th of October 2016, the ruling orders terms are as follows:

(i)      The accused to deposit her passport in court and should not leave the court’s jurisdiction without permission.

(ii)     The accused shall be released on a bond of Kenya Shillings Ten Million (Kshs.10,000,000) with two Kenyan sureties of similar amount.  No log book or books should be used as security document.

(iii) The accused to report to the OCS Gigiri Police Station, Nairobi once every week with effect from 1st November, 2016 until the finalisation of this case.

(iv)    This case shall be mentioned once every month and the accused to attend all mentions.[1]

Concurrently she was the DPP preffered other charges against her. Namely; Conspiracy To Defeat Justice.

28th her aunt offered up her property, and the prosecution requested one week to verify her passport. This bond application was rejected because her aunt is a holder of an American passport, and the prosecution told that verification can be done in two or three days. The next date was set for the 3rd of November.

Week 4.

This week began in Mtaangani Prison, Womens Quarters.

3rd November her grandmother offered up their Nairobi family home as bond with the relevant documents and she had 3 Kenyan sureties.  She was released on bond on the same day, thanks to diligent lawyers paperwork processing.

My Opinion

In the years I have known Meena, she has shown herself to be a person who has exceptional levels of empathy and value for life. The idea that she would kill or hurt anyone is preposterous to me, and to many of the friends and colleagues I have spoken to. She is the last person to stand by the waste of a life.

All round, we sent many prayers for her release on bond, as her three children are intimately attached to her and were asking for her every day.

As I attended court and tried to understand the legal jargon involved, I have come across the heart breaking realisation that there are so many stuck in the legal system with no hope of being offered their own human rights. I am very grateful for the time that was taken to explain to me what is going on in legal terms, as to me, legal jargon is just like another language.

It is, in this country, very possible to get stuck in jail for a crime one has not even sat trial for. Few people can afford legal counsel and even fewer have any idea what their rights even are. The courts primary occupation seems to me to be to aprove the postponements of justice.

When I visited Meena in remand, the wardens addressed her as ‘Teacher Amina’. I had to ask why, and the answer was that she spent her mornings there teaching the infants in the prison the alphabet and names of colours in English and Kiswahili. The day after her release, she insisted on returning with food supplies, sweets and nappies to the prison. In truth, I can’t exaust how heart breaking her circumstance is to me. Especially as it is not outside the rhelm of possibility that she may go to jail for something she did not do.

For these reasons, I can only pray that her trail is free and fair as possible.



[1] http://kenyalaw.org/caselaw/cases/view/127213/


Throwing stones

      It’s 3:00am, and I can’t get back to sleep. My mind is preoccupied by young faces from yet another FGM Kenya documentary I put myself through yesterday.
      It is not a hidden fact, that the age for circumcision is getting younger and younger. Perhaps its in order to combat the increasing awareness of its detrimental health side effects.
      The procedure is so excruciating that it makes illegal torture practices look like childs play. It is often practiced in places so remote, that emergency health care is an impossibility. Once pregnant, if by the grace of God, both mother and child survive, post natal complications are dire. I won’t go into those details (watch the Untold Stories three part documentary on You Tube if your interested. I cried.). The whole thing makes me feel completely helpless and worthless.
      Why are we not shouting about this insanely detrimental practice? Maybe its not entertaining enough. Maybe it doesn’t come in a package with dinner and a raffle ticket.
      One of the most common replies I have gotten when I bring this up in conversation, is that the girls themselves want it to happen. Talk about sticking your head in the ground! If an eight to twelve year old girl told you that she wanted to have sex, would that make it ok for her to do so?
      Children are not responsible for their own safety. Adults are. I am more disgusted by the lack of political incentive to stop these statutory butchers than i am by the perpetrators themselves. The executors of this ceremony are uneducated and have known no different for their whole lives.

      What’s your excuse?

      When these girls become women, they are expected to bear children through an orifice that was stitched closed specifically to allow only the flow of urine.

As Kenyans, we defend our country ferociously. Woe unto the foreigner who spots a problem within our borders and speaks publicly about it.
      Instead of attacking the problem spotter, attack the problem. It’s about time we turn our glass house, into a safe and sturdy home.

My Face

My face has mountains

and Valleys, lush, life

giving terrain.

Seeds latent, waiting for rain.


You come to me, speaking

in languages that I don’t understand

until I feel them.

But those are just stories I hear.


First I must be silent inside.


We must slice, from my temple down.

On either side.

Take off my face completely.


My nose, you see…

May lead me, to like, to want, to anticipate and salivate

at the prospect of the pleasure of dancing.

This we don’t want.


My lips may form a channel of moisture that can contribute

to a miniature lake of

spent desire.

We don’t want that either.


The mouth; the greatest offender.

It may consent to be fed, to be watered.

Alow an intruder to climb in and till it.

Should I allow it?

That, we really don’t want.


I am a child, yes.

But what goes on in my mind, may blind me from morals

that should be enshrined

so cut out my mouth,

lest I feel inclined,

to speak freely,

words that are babies.


You see, my words,

are babies.

Either fully formed, or merely conceptual.

So cut out my mouth,

as regular childbirth is not enough of a hurdle.

Though, I’ve heard, the scar tissue may kill my first-born.

Or if I’m lucky, ensure that my colon is torn.

Cut out my mouth,

so my father can feel warm,

in the knowledge that he sired a true woman.


Remove my face from me

I should not see, I should not breathe.

Remove my face completely.

I should never have the chance to speak freely.

I have no value, as God made me, functionally,

responsive with flexibility.

To let mother nature have her way with my body,

would mean,

endless shame to my family.


So Please. Cut out my face.


So I can be…