DOCUMENTARIES


Kenya - Kenya Murder Mystery - 49 min 48 sec (13 May 2009)  
 
 

Tom Cholmondeley, heir to the vast Kenyan Delamere estate, faces the death penalty following the alleged shooting of a poacher on the 56,000 acre family estate. Filmmaker Fiona Cunningham-Reid follows the trials, which have come to underline the sharp divisions over land, race and privilege in a country suffering from colonial hangover.

‘Tom has two big problems. This is not the first time he has been accused of killing a black man. He is also the heir to an immense colonial estate, in a country where land reform is an explosive political issue.’ Eton-educated, the Hon Thomas Cholmondeley, grandson of the late Lord Delamere and heir to both the title and one of the country’s biggest estates was arrested on May 10, 2006 after he allegedly killed Mr Robert Njoya, a local resident who is said to have been illegally poaching on the family estate.

Thomas Cholmondeley is at the mercy of the Kenyan judicial system where nearly one million trials are pending, with a backlog of nearly three hundred murder trials. The case of Njoya's death is made more controversial because it was the second time in just over a year that Cholmondeley was implicated in a fatal shooting on his family's farm. The first case, in which an off-duty game warden was killed, was dismissed for lack of evidence. Following his acquittal from this previous murder charge, there is much anger against the perception that, ‘a white man is above the law’, prompting angry protests from some villagers already resentful of what they saw as colonial-era intrusion into their traditional lands.

Distant relative Fiona Cunningham-Reid follows the trials and tribulations of the Delamere family over these two years. Originally a sceptic of the Delamere’s insistence of his innocence, Cunningham-Reid begins to wonder whether this fascinating human story chronicling a pivotal stage in modern Africa, will result in an outcome reflecting the country's ability to move forward or to be 'stranded at the crossroads'.

This fascinating documentary, originally aired as part of Channel 4's 'True Stories' series, gains unprecedented access and features Cholmondeley’s court case, interviews with his family, legal team, and girlfriend, Sally Dudmesh.


01:00:02 - The Great Rift Valley
01:00:12 - Thunderstorm
01:00:22 - Buffalo on Delamere estate
01:00:36 - Still of Robert Njoya
01:00:48 - Tom Cholmondeley being led to courtroom
01:01:04 - Flamingos on lake
01:01:12 - Street violence – burning
01;01:23 - Cholmondeley getting into prison truck
01:01:34 - Nairobi Judiciary
01:01:52 - Stills of filmmaker’s childhood
01:02:02 - Zebra and giraffe
01:02:13 - Hippo
01:02:16 - Maid followed by three dogs
01:02:43 - Newspaper headline – ‘I saw Delamere son aim and shoot’
01:03:17 - Still of Njoya’s bullet wound
01:03:47 - Truck pulling off Kenyan Road
01:04:08 - Slaughterhouse
01:05:01 - Interview with singer Eric Wainaina
01:05:18 - Views of lake
01:05:45 - Busy Kenyan road
01:05:51 - G.K. Prison, Kamiti
01:06:04 - Tom Cholmondeley in Kamiti prison
01:06:31 - GV of beautiful Kenyan landscape
01:07:43 - Newspaper headline – ‘Outrage over shooting’ – Saturday Nation
01:07:50 - Robet Njoya’s funeral, procession following coffin
01:08:48 - Danson Mungatana’s speech at funeral
01:09:06 - Koigi Wa Wamwere’s speech at funeral
01:09:13 - Tom Cholmondeley sitting in court
01:10:16 - Nairobi High Court
01:11:01 - Cholmondeley talking to his lawyer Fred Ojiambo
01:12:47 - Court visits the scene of the shooting
01:14:10 - Kenyan Prison truck
01:15:16 - Old B+W stills of the Delameres and their estate
01:17:01 - Cholmondeley talking about his sons’ visit to the prison
01:18:39 - Hot air ballooning
01:19:10 - Jeep kicking up dust
01:19:33 - Giraffes, buffalo, game
01:20:11 - Poacher trap
01:20:55 - Beautiful Kenyan landscape
01:21:03 - Butcher’s
01:25:10 - The Judge Justice Apondi walking into courtroom
01:25:55 - Kenyan government officials
01:26:49 - Civil unrest after President Mwai Kibaki is sworn in for a second term in December 2007
01:34:10 - Tom Cholmondeley gives his statement in court
01:41:27 - Interview with Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo
01:43:33 - Cholmondeley’s undercuffs being removed
01:44:17 - Riot police outside courtroom
01:44:31 - Press in courtroom whilst Judge gives verdict
01:48:39 - Workers walking along deserted dusty train track


WATCH MORE.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION.


Fiona Cunningham-Reid

 

(Ref: 5542)