ALAC Re-Routes Course of Justice For Defilement Victim

Quite often, the process of administration of justice is delayed or hindered by those who should ardently uphold, largely as a result of corruption. *Nyambura, a 16-year-old girl from Kakamega County came face to face with this ugly reality in August 2015. The minor had been defiled and infected with a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) by a person well known to her family. The matter was duly reported to the police for action; however, months after the matter had been reported, the alleged perpetrator was still walking scot-free. The matter caught the attention of the Kakamega Coalition for Good Governance members who had been empowered on corruption and anti-corruption strategies by TI-Kenya’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC)-Western office.

From their follow-up efforts, it emerged that the mother of the victim had entered into an unlawful arrangement to settle the matter out of court and the perpetrator was to pay the mother of the victim a total sum of Ksh 20,000/=. Out of which, the mother of the victim had allegedly pocketed a down-payment of a sum total of Ksh 10,000/=. Sadly, and contrary to the law, this arrangement including the payments was presided over by police officers from the station in which the matter had been reported, and the last payment was scheduled to be made at the police station.

ALAC Intervention

After receiving information on the incident, a coalition member made a call to ALAC-Western. The ALAC office speedily liaised with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), and a quick visit was made to the police station to ascertain the facts. Discussions were then held with the Investigations Officer regarding the handling of the case and the complaints that were raised by the community pertaining to the matter. Just days after the visit, the suspect was arraigned in court and the mother of the victim was also charged with interfering with police investigations and colluding with others to defeat justice.

Status

This matter is still pending in court. The intervention of the ALAC team and good cooperation with KNCHR could go a long way in securing justice for *Nyambura.

*Name changed to protect complainant’s identity

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