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Police bemoan witness withdrawal in cases

28 April 2014, 10:32 Dareel Eric

Vihiga - Police in Vihiga County are suffering a serious setback in presenting cases to courts where women and children are the complainants.

County police commandant Sarah Duncan revealed that most cases that involve women and children are not heard to the end in the law courts in the region.

“In the middle of the case, the complainants who are always women and children withdraw the cases after reaching a consensus at their homes. I don’t know why the complainants are always withdrawing the cases,” said Sarah.

She spoke on Saturday at Chambiti village in the county, during the burial of four family members (a mother and her daughters) who were raped before being killed in cold blood murder in Bungoma.

The commandant said that it has almost become impossible to take cases that involve women and children as complainants to court as the likelihood of the case being withdrawn was high and predictable.

“In the county, it is not easy for the women to stand in the dock and testify against someone who wronged them until justice is sought. The rulings cannot be made by the magistrates without having reliable witnesses,” she said.

Sarah was reacting for the calls by the residents who claimed that most of those criminals that are taken to the courts are not meted with justice as required and that are often released to come back to the society where they continually become a nuisance to the people.

She blamed the culture of the region where elders are often involved in solving the cases at home, even after it is presented to court, and thus prompting the complainant to go and withdraw it.

She further added that since her arrival in the county nine months ago, she had boosted the security and dealt with criminal gangs like the ‘Bonoko’ of Luanda and the ‘forty two brothers’ in Sabatia, who have been fully extinguished.  

“I’m not supporting any group to form and cheat residents into believing that they are dealing with their security. I only encourage the residents to embrace the Nyumba Kumi initiative and the community policing which is coordinated by the government,” she said.

She said that so far, many of the criminals that have piled up at the Kodiaga Maximum Prison are coming from Vihiga after the police from the region arrested them.

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