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Policeman charged with attempting to strip schoolgirl in matatu

Monday November 24 2014

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A policeman was Monday charged with assaulting and attempting to undress a schoolgirl inside a matatu.

Mr Christopher Gathara, an instructor at the Administration Police Training College, was charged alongside Mr Samuel Maina Ngige, who was also a passenger in the vehicle.

The two were arrested by the public during the Sunday afternoon incident, which is the third reported case in less than two weeks in Nairobi where women have been targeted over their attire.

Last week, Deputy President William Ruto assured women of their security and called on police officers to not only arrest but also charge those behind “these primitive acts”.

On Monday, the police officer denied a further charge of injuring the student’s aunt as she attempted to rescue her from her molesters.



He denied he assaulted Ms Patricia Nkatha Mabe and injured her skull. (We have withheld the girl’s name as she is underage).

Mr Gathara and Mr Maina were also charged with damaging the windscreen of the matatu belonging to Mwamba Sacco.

According to the charge sheet, the girl and her aunt were travelling on Route 19 towards Komarock Phase IV while seated at the back before they were accosted.

“The first accused, who is a corporal with the Administration Police, started seducing the first complainant and upon seeing that she was not interested, started abusing her before he was joined by the second accused, who now threatened to strip her,” the report states.

They told the student that she should wear the skirt only in front of her husband, the report says.

“One of the accused poured juice on the complainant and both pretended to wipe it off by touching her thighs...”

A commotion ensued and the driver drove the vehicle to the Mwamba Sacco office.

“The passengers ordered the vehicle to be taken to Kayole Police Station, and as another struggle ensued to keep the suspects from escaping, they damaged the windscreen,’’ the report further states.

A hearing was set for February 9, 2015.

Mr Gathara and Mr Ngige will each be required to deposit a bond of Sh50,000, with sureties of similar amounts.

The Makadara chief magistrate ruled out the option of cash bail.


Last week, police arrested 100 men in Kayole for stripping and sexually assaulting a woman, but they have since been released from custody.

The police said there was no complainant to link the suspects to the offence.

Hundreds of protesters last week took to the streets to condemn the stripping of another woman on Tom Mboya Street who had also been attacked “for dressing indecently”.

The incident was captured on video, which went viral on the Internet.

Deputy President William Ruto called for the arrest of people who stripped the woman, saying Kenya “is not a primitive society” and that “legal action should be taken against those who do not respect the rights of others”.

“We do not want to live in a primitive world where people do not respect the rights of others especially the rights of children and women,” he said.

Kenyans on social media condemned the incident with the hashtags #MydressMychoice and #strippingshame, which trended on Twitter for two days.


A group of women in Nairobi later organised a demonstration in support of the women victims and presented a petition to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.

The National Police Service has since appealed to the woman, who has since gone underground, to report to any police station and make an official complaint in order for the matter to be investigated.

In the case involving the Administration Police officer, four witnesses, including the woman he allegedly assaulted, are listed as witnesses.

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko on Monday condemned the incident, saying “the courts should be stringent and deny bond terms to those who abuse and trivialise the rights of women”.

Maendeleo ya Wanawake Nairobi County Chairwoman Martha Miyandazi, who accompanied the victim to the court, called on matatu operators to be vigilant against people preying on innocent women.

“I thank the matatu crew who helped in arresting these people. We are not supposed to be stripping women; we should protect them.

Kenya should not be known as a place where women are stripped,” she said.