Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gender agency faults police in gang rape case

Dr Florentius Koech (right) a neurosurgeon and Nation Media Group staffers Bernice Macharia and Njeri Rugene speak with ‘Liz' and her mother at Gynocare Fistula Centre on October 24, 2013.

Dr Florentius Koech (right) a neurosurgeon and Nation Media Group staffers Bernice Macharia and Njeri Rugene speak with ‘Liz' and her mother at Gynocare Fistula Centre on October 24, 2013. The Nation staffers presented a Sh583,000 cheque to cater for her medical expenses. Photo/JARED NYATAYA  

By NJERI RUGENE
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The commission on gender has accused police of deliberately dragging their feet in arresting youths who raped a pupil in Busia four months ago.

National Gender and Equality Commission chairperson Winfred Lichuma also hinted at a ploy to throw out the case.

As a result, she has urged Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo to ensure justice for the girl, who is now confined to a wheelchair as a result of the attack.

“It is disturbing that no suspects have been arrested. The explanation that they have gone underground is, at the very least, preposterous and reeks of a calculated move to scuttle the case,” she said.

Obstetric fistula

Ms Lichuma said the delay in arresting the six suspects was causing “immense distress” to the girl and her family.

“The victim has suffered the worst form of sexual abuse and her aggravated situation has denied her the right to pursue her education,” she said.

The Standard Seven pupil, who suffered a spinal injury and developed obstetric fistula, is recovering at Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret.

She is also being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the weekend, she underwent surgery and doctors say they are happy with her progress.

On Wednesday, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko said he had directed Busia police to arrest the suspects, who went into hiding soon after the Nation published the story.

Mr Tobiko also ordered an inquiry into why the police have yet to arrest the suspects.

When the matter was reported to Tingolo AP Camp on June 27, officers recorded it as an assault and released three youths arrested by villagers after making them slash grass in the compound as punishment.

On Wednesday, NMG staff visited the hospital and paid Sh583,000 for her bills.

And on Thursday, the girl’s mother said she feared for her life as she was receiving threats from the parents of some of the suspects.

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