The Murder of Willie Kimani Can Rally the Global Body of Christ for an End to Impunity

Courtesy International Justice Mission
Courtesy International Justice Mission

Earlier this month I spent two weeks in Kenya, where international attention has focused on the abduction and murder of three men: my colleague Willie Kimani, a human rights lawyer and investigator for IJM, our client Josephat Mwenda, and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri. Willie and the IJM team were pursuing a case against a Kenyan police officer for shooting Josephat, and the two went missing with their trusted taxi driver while heading for their homes following a court hearing in Nairobi.

Tragically, eight days after they went missing, despite an extensive search led by Kenyan police and IJM staff, their bodies were found in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River to the northeast of Nairobi on July 1, 2016. On Monday, July 18, four police officers were charged in their murder.

While we are encouraged by the investigation and arrest, our hearts are still devastated. And even as we deeply mourn these obscene murders, we are profoundly grateful to every government agency, nonprofit, church, and individual who used their voice to rally an urgent response to their disappearance. Now we need continued action to help us bring those responsible for their murder to justice—and fuel a massive movement to finally end impunity for abusive police in Kenya.

As we follow Jesus in his work of justice in a fallen and violent world, our staff willingly put themselves at risk every day. Seeking justice requires confrontation with evil. And evil fights back, with violence. But when Jesus tells his disciples, “You are the light of the world,” he is calling us to take that light into even the darkest corners.

As a human rights lawyer and an investigator for IJM, Willie was following hard after the God of justice. He was willing to place his very body between the violent men and the vulnerable poor. He was bearing the light of Christ bodily to the end, and no darkness will ever quench that immortal light in his soul or in the nation he loved.

The IJM family around the world mourns the deaths of Willie, Josephat and Joseph and strongly condemns the perpetrators of these murders. Even so, we know that evil always overplays its hand. The God of the universe, the God who created each of us, is a God of justice and his justice will be made known. This we know: God will not be mocked. And we at IJM will never, ever leave this fight he has given us.

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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Gary Haugen