Jane is fighting for her life after she was defiled by her uncle. Jane (not her real name) is one of the victims of rape and defilement here in Kenya whose justice gets trashed.
Jane, 4 years, was defiled by her uncle but Jane’s father settled the case secretly denying her justice. Jane’s father forgave the suspect leading to the dismissal of the case. The case that was before the Rongo Law Courts was dismissed due to lack of witnesses to testify against the suspect Denis Onyango. The wheel of justice rolled in the corridors of Rongo Law courts for 80 weeks and one day before the judgment was given on 3rd July last year (2009). The suspect was cleared of the offence and is enjoying the freedom while his victim is trouble to overcome the trauma she underwent in his hands.
“There is no need to continue with the case involving a relative.” These are the words of Jane’s father when asked why he forgave the suspect, who happens to be his brother. His forgiveness robbed his daughter justice and leaving a wound in her heart that will never heal.
The father is not concerned much with the health conditions of the daughter since he has not transferred her to a better health institution to get specialized medical attention. He says he is planning to transfer her but she is suffering from trauma even when she is asleep. A no-good reason for him not to transfer the daughter to a better hospital.
Jane is among the 2000 defiled in 2009. When we highlight the cases since 2005, the number goes up. In 2005 about 1000 cases were reported, in 2006 there were more than 1500 and in 2007 the reported cases were 1800. In 2008 there were about 2000, in the year 2009 cases in records are 2200 and in 2010 the highest number was recorded hitting 3000 cases.
Rape and defilement cases have become a societal menace as Dr. Agaya, a sociologist, who was investigating the case. “Many suspects of this kind escape the hand of the law in one way or the other depending the family in where this evil has been committed. Many try to sole the cases outside court without a proper legal procedure,” says Dr Agaya.
When I went through the case register of rape and defilement between the month of June and December 2010, there were a total of 60 cases in Migori County. Unfortunately, more than fifty cases of the registered cases were dismissed, suspects set free and found not guilty or cases discontinued. The Rongo law courts had 32 cases, Migori law courts had 22 cases and finally Kehancha law court had 11 cases.
To wipe out this vice form the society, Dr Agaya suggests that we should have good legal procedures and good family leadership. “This applies to legal institutions, the police and general administration. Also the school and religious institutions be involved,” added Dr Agaya.
Jane was denied justice. The suspect is free. We hope that the new constitution will bring hope and light to Jane and other victims of rape and defilement who do not access justice.