Around 4pm on November 2, Clara Mbeyu (not her real name) was walking along Nyali Road in Mombasa County when she was accosted by two policemen, forced into a vehicle and taken to a cave on Mombasa beach, where she says she was defiled.
One of the officers, according to the 16-year-old, was clad in police uniform while the other was in civilian clothes. The officers, who, she said, were five in the vehicle, first asked her where she was going.
“I told them that I was going to visit my grandmother. They then asked me to board the vehicle but I refused. I wanted to scream but the officer in civilian clothes brandished a pistol and pointed it on the right side of my abdomen,” she recalled. She was ordered to enter the car.
“One of the officers started touching me inappropriately and inquired whether I had a boyfriend. When I said I didn't have one and asked him to stop touching me, he said I was pretending to be a virgin and that he will confirm,” she narrated.
The minor said the officers kept on sexually harassing her inside the vehicle until they approached Chui Road, a few metres from Mombasa beach. The vehicle stopped and she alighted with the two officers and they walked to the beach through feeder roads.
As they walked along the beach, the minor says, the officer who had asked her about being a virgin kept repeating the question, and also warned her against running away threatening to shoot her dead.
As they continued walking to a destination she didn’t know, she met people who knew her, but when they tried to intervene, the officers brandished their guns and kept them at bay.
The officers then took her to a deserted section of the beach. There, she was pushed into a cave.
“We went near the caves and the officer pushed me inside one of them and told me to undress. I declined and pleaded with him, but he brandished his gun again. He forcefully undressed me and defiled me,” she said in her police report, which has also been recorded with the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida-Kenya).
As one of the officers was defiling her, she said, his colleague was standing guard, perhaps on the lookout for passers-by.
“All the while, the officers referred to each other as ‘afande’, not by their names,” she said.
Apart from defiling her, the girl said the officer also assaulted her by beating and pinching her as she struggled to free herself.
“After he was done, he told me to go and bath in the ocean, he threw my clothes at me, ordered me to dress and go home. Then, he threatened to kill me and my entire family should I disclose to anyone what had happened,” she said.
The girl said that after the ordeal, the officers escorted her to Links Road in Nyali where she boarded a public service vehicle back home.
“They kept threatening me. As I entered into the matatu, the officer who had defiled me pinched me and warned me against disclosing the ordeal to the tout or anyone, saying, they would kill us all.”
The officer, the 16-year-old said, bragged that no action would be taken against him even if she reported the incident to the police station or even to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
“They said they will kill me and report that I was a drug user,” the minor said.
When the minor arrived home, she shared with her aunt what had happened, and was then taken to Coast General Hospital where she was treated and put on medication.
The family is concerned that despite reporting the matter, nothing has so far been done.
“The officers have not been arrested and yet they are well known. We fear that this matter might be covered up and the perpetrators might just get away with the offence,” the child’s mother said.
She wants justice for her daughter, whom she said was traumatised following the incident.
Medical records show that the Form One student had been defiled.
It took the intervention of Fida Kenya, through their lawyer, Mr Said Hisham, to have the victim record further statements with the police and obtain medical documents. Ms Hisham has taken the police to task over why the perpetrators are still free.
The matter was then reported to Nyali Police Station.
Nyali OCPD Simon Thirikwa has confirmed that the incident was reported to them, but said the police have been facing challenges investigating it.
Mr Thirikwa said the minor and her parents have not been cooperating with the police, thus crippling the investigations.
“They have refused to cooperate. We have conducted investigations and found that there is no truth in the matter. The report is not clear,” he said, but added, they are ready to investigate the matter, but only if the family is willing to cooperate.
Apart from helping with the filing of the complaint and keeping track of the ongoing investigations, Fida has provided psychosocial support as well as legal process aid to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended.
“The victim has been counselled as part of recovery therapy after having been defiled. We have followed up with police station and ensured that the victim’s statement was recorded,” Ms Hisham added. She said Fida will be holding brief in the matter to ensure that the minor gets justice.
Name changed to protect the minor.