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Incest cases on the rise in Vihiga

31 July 2014, 15:39 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - Residents of Hamisi sub-county in Vihiga County are worried by the increasing cases of defilement in the region, with the perpetrators going scot free even after being taken to court.

Teachers, neighbours, close relatives and gang rapists are the chief perpetrators of defilement with the offenders often pleading not guilty and being released due to lack of sufficient evidence. 

Samson Agufa of Kiprari village in Banja ward says that his two granddaughters aged 12 and 9 suffered in the hands of a rapist two years ago, but the case was dismissed at the Principal Magistrate's Courts in Vihiga after dragging for over a year.

“The 9 year old child now suffers from HIV and AIDs, and it sometimes becomes very difficult in taking care of her. The case was dismissed because the magistrate said we had failed to identify clearly the crime offender who worked at the Hamisi Law Courts by then,” said Agufa.

Agufa says that he was disappointed to see the case thrown out after he spent a fortune travelling to and fro the courts, where he could spend over KES 500 per given day, and despite having documents from the doctor which indicated that the two young girls had been assaulted.

A few metres from Agufa's home, Faith Kivali, a village elder, says that an orphaned child aged 11 years was raped in August last year, but the case has never been heard due to never-ending postponements.

"The child has been given a raw deal and the rapist is out enjoying his freedom," she said.

She expressed optimism that the courts would solve the case faster so that she can concentrate on other things in the society because she only came in as a concerned citizen to help the child.

Earlier in the year, Vihiga senior Principal Magistrate Grace Mmasi had bemoaned the increased cases of defilement noting that the court has been dealing with the cases in plenty and particularly those that involve incest.

“Defilement cases have been predominant in the Vihiga Law Courts for quite some time now and most end up not being heard to the end because of the society holding separate local courts and solving the cases at home thus leading to witnesses withdrawal,” Mmasi said.

She expressed concern that most parents in the region are not clearly sensitised on what to do in case of rape.

“Sensitisation is not there and mothers usually tend to destroy the evidence by cleaning their defiled daughters or discarding the clothes, thus giving the offenders a lease of life,” she said.

Nominated MCA Dorcus Anupi, who represents the youths in Vihiga County Assembly and who launched a campaign to sensitise parents on what to do in case their children are raped, said that parents who solve such cases on barazas should be prosecuted.

She said that it was high time parents came out clean without fear of being intimidated or victimised by the offenders and reported any cases involving their children to the relevant offices.

“What about the psychological and emotional torture the children go through after being defiled by the people that they trust and whom they see everyday having escaped punishment?” she posed.   

Anupi noted that child neglect is a major concern affecting young children whose parents have since disappeared and are not helping to provide the basic needs.

Currently in Hamisi sub-county alone, there are over 15 defilement cases, 4 rape cases and 1 that involved incest. 

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