The woman shielding a 12-year-old girl who was allegedly defiled by her policeman father in Migori County has expressed fear for her family’s lives, saying they had received threats from the suspect’s family.
The woman, who has been shielding the Standard Seven pupil and her maternal grandmother, said she had moved the girl to a safer location after receiving the threats.
The minor says she was defiled last month and locked up in police cells by her father’s colleagues when she went to report the assault at Isebania Police Station, where she spent six days sleeping on the cold floor, with her father visiting occasionally to threaten her into silence.
The guardian’s fears come barely a day after the Independent Policing Oversight Authority started investigating the matter.
The guardian told the Nation that the suspect’s mother has been sending people to warn her against getting involved in the case, or else she will face dire consequences.
“My husband and I have been receiving threats,” she said. “Last evening, the suspect’s mother sent my mother-in-law to tell us to stop pursuing the matter,” she told the Nation on the phone.
They have appealed for police protection after the suspect reportedly went missing on Monday.
“We fear for our safety since the suspect’s whereabouts are unknown,” she said.
Contacted on Thursday, Kehancha police boss Bernard Muriuki maintained that police are on the suspect’s trail. But there were conflicting reports, with some residents claiming that the suspect was on Monday handcuffed and whisked away in a police vehicle.
“We will find him and ensure he is brought to book,” said Mr Muriuki.
The residents have accused the police of providing conflicting information to protect one of their own.
“On Tuesday evening, there was a heavy police presence in the area. The officers handcuffed the suspect and took him to a waiting police van. We were surprised to read in the newspapers that the suspect was still at large. The police should tell us the truth,” said Mr Chacha Mwita, a local.
Sources indicated that criminal investigators have taken up the case and were reviewing the file with a view to pressing charges against the suspect.
He had previously been presented in court but the matter was dropped due to lack of evidence.