Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Busia gang-rape case sparks protests

PHOTO | TOM OTIENO Policemen inspect a hole from which a girl who was gang-raped was rescued in Busia County on October 9, 2013.

PHOTO | TOM OTIENO Policemen inspect a hole from which a girl who was gang-raped was rescued in Busia County on October 9, 2013.  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NJERI RUGENE
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Investigations have been launched by the police into circumstances surrounding the gang rape of a pupil three months ago.

When the rape was first reported to Administration Police at Tingolo, Busia County, the three suspects were ordered by the police to slash grass as punishment.

The officer to whom the rape was first reported recorded it only as assault. The Standard Seven pupil was attacked on the night of June 26 as she walked home after attending her grandfather’s funeral.

In an attempt to conceal their crime, the attackers threw her into a disused pit latrine. She survived with a spinal injury and was sheltered at the Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret for several weeks as her family sought to raise money for her treatment.

CAN'T CONTROL URINE

The teenager, who is now confined to a wheel-chair, developed obstetric fistula as a result of the rape. She is unable to control urine and stool.

On Wednesday, Busia County police commander Halima Mohamed visited the AP camp. “We want to find out why action was not taken immediately,’’ she said.

Ms Mohamed also called the girl’s mother to record a statement. She said police would also record statements from the pupil and the doctors who attended to her.

The girl’s story was published in the Nation’s DN2 magazine exclusively on Tuesday.

Since then, readers have been sending e-mails and calling the Nation newsroom to find out how they can help. But even as they offered to meet the cost of her treatment, they want the attackers arrested and justice done.

Parliament’s committee on National Security also took up the case.

“It is shocking and unbelievable. We want to get to the bottom of it,” committee chairman Asman Kimama, also the Tiaty MP, said.

ENSURE JUSTICE

The Nation Media Group has offered to meet the teenager’s medical expenses and has also started a campaign to ensure justice for the victim.

Mrs Ann Gitao-Kinyua, the Nation Media Group’s marketing director, said the teenager’s story would be kept alive until the perpetrators are brought to book.

“Not only did she suffer a brutal crime that changed her life forever; she was also denied justice,” she said on Wednesday while launching the campaign.

Doctors estimate the treatment will cost Sh600,000. Those willing to assist the girl can send donations to M-Pesa paybill number 500944.

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