Alarm over rising defilement, incest cases in Kigumo - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Alarm over rising defilement, incest cases in Kigumo

Kigumo Law Courts in Murang'a
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Leaders from Murang’a and officers from the children’s department have raised the alarm over a surge in cases of defilement of minors by close relatives including their fathers.
On Monday, there were three such cases at the Kigumo Law Courts where three minors were defiled by an uncle, a cousin and a father respectively, with the police and the children’s department decrying the reluctance by some families to give evidence against their relatives who have committed the heinous acts.
According to sources at the children’s department, guardians and some parents have been a stumbling block in the successful prosecution of family members who defile their minors and in some instances even impregnated them.
According to an officer from the department who sought anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to journalists, about 10 cases have been reported in Kigumo Sub-County this year and suspects are undergoing trial at the Kigumo Law Courts.
The officer noted that the incidents could be more as some family members do not report them for fear of public embarrassment while others want to prevent a breakdown of family cohesion.
“Most of the family members are often reluctant to prosecute their relatives and that is why most of the cases go unreported. There are those who report but then change their mind and plead with us to withdraw the charges and even coach the victims to claim she lied, forcing us to take them to children’s homes,” the officer said.
A mother of a 17-year-old girl who is eight months pregnant and who was allegedly defiled by her father last year, said her husband and in-laws have been pressuring her to withdraw the charges. She said she has been beaten up and occasionally threatened due to the case.
“I live a life of fear. My husband and his brothers keep threatening me and sometimes beat me up demanding that the charges be withdrawn. I live in a rented house where they occasionally come,” she said.
In Kigumo town, the Nation met with a family who had just learnt that their 13-year-old daughter was 22 weeks pregnant after taking her to a dispensary thinking she had intestinal worms.
On getting the shocking news, her father pressed the minor to disclose the defiler and then proceeded to Kigumo Police Station where they recorded a statement and the police begun investigations.
“We had taken her to the hospital thinking she had intestinal worms only for the doctor to carry out a test and found her to be pregnant. It was then that she disclosed the man responsible and that she was threatened with death if she told anyone about it,” the man said.
Kigumo OCPD Micheal Ndegwa confirmed the matter, saying that it is under investigations and that they are looking for the suspect.
“We are aware of the matter and have commenced investigations and we shall ensure that justice is served to the victim,” the police boss said.
A nominated MCA, Beth Ndung’u, who has been championing children’s rights, said the incidents are worrying, adding that poverty and ignorance by family members has contributed immensely to the failure to report the cases to authorities.
She said she has been forwarding the few cases she comes across to the children’s offices and the police for action.
“The trend in Kigumo Sub-County is worrying. I hear these issues almost on a daily basis with some family members hiding these cases, a move which obstructs justice for the victims,” she said.
Ms Ndung’u said she has discussed the matter with the Murang’a County Assembly legal advisers on the possibility of coming up with a law at the county level to help in the war against incest and defilement in the region.

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