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Heartache for woman denied justice after rape

Posted by Administrator on November 21, 2011

Ms Monica Wanjiru was raped by people she knows but police arrested her for the crime instead of the culprits. Her search for justice seems elusive. Photo: Peter Ochieng’/Standard

Ms Monica Wanjiru was raped by people she knows but police arrested her for the crime instead of the culprits. Her search for justice seems elusive. Photo: Peter Ochieng’/Standard

She is a pleasant woman whose gentility doesn’t betray the torturous months she has endured in her search for justice.

Monica Wanjiru, 31, has knocked on so many offices that she hardly remembers them all.

Her case should be a straightforward one — and justice shouldn’t be that elusive. Wanjiru was raped by people she knows but the culprits later allegedly manipulated law enforcers to jail her for the crime.

To her horror, she was accused of giving false information to a police officer by lying about the incident.

Yet it was the police who rescued an unconscious Wanjiru after the incident and rushed her to the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret where doctors confirmed she had been raped.

“This turn of events shell shocked me. That I was being charged instead of the people who took my dignity was beyond my comprehension,” she told The Standard tearfully.

That fateful day on March 12, last year, when the incident happened, Wanjiru had dashed to a neighbourhood supermarket in Langas estate in Eldoret to buy sugar and pay off a debt.

“A woman friend runs the supermarket but that day I didn’t find her. Instead it was her husband and another man chatting. It was about 7.30pm when I entered the supermarket.

“As soon as my friend’s husband saw me, he started flirting with me. But I ignored him, picked the sugar and paid him. But as I paid him over the counter, the man held my hand tightly. I tried to free myself, but his friend who was standing nearby held me from behind.”

At this point, Wanjiru hesitates as she dreads remembering what happened next.

When she realised something bad was about to happen, she screamed for help. The two men quickly shut the supermarket and switched off the lights before they started raping her in turns.

Passed out

She tried to fight them off but gradually became feeble and passed out.

“I only remember one of them hitting me between my eyes. I woke up in hospital… and without my underpants. I stayed in the hospital for two days.”

Having been told that the police rescued her and took her to hospital, Wanjiru went home confident the rapists were locked up.

“But when I went to record a statement, I was shocked when police promised to arrest the suspects. I was issued with a P3 form. Witnesses who escorted me to hospital also recorded their statements,” said Wanjiru.

Instead of arresting the rapists, the police stormed Wanjiru’s house at 2am and arrested her, a month after the ordeal.

She was stunned when they told her that she had given false information to a police officer from Langas Police Station that she had been raped, claims that were untrue.

For one month, Wanjiru spent time in jail before she was granted a free bond allowing her to attend court as a free suspect.

Hurting both physically and emotionally, Wanjiru went through the harrowing court process where police, to her dismay, disowned her.

“Only one police officer who was among those who rescued me and was called to testify in court said he was shocked to see me on the dock accused. He said I did not deserve to be there.”

Her court tussle lasted a year and Eldoret Resident Magistrate Innocent Maisiba eventually ruled in Wanjiru’s favour, admonishing police for “trying to cover up evil deeds”.

Evil deeds

“I have considered the evidence and clearly, the prosecution was unable to prove the accused gave false information. She was only mistreated by the police who tried to cover up evil deeds,” the judgement reads.

Maisiba relied in part on the evidence of Cynthia Jemutai Kibet, a medical officer at Moi Referral who attended to Wanjiru when police took her to the hospital.

In a sworn affidavit, Kibet gave a medical examination report showing that Wanjiru had been raped.

“This confirms that indeed the said Monica Wanjiru had been assaulted and raped since there was evidence of physical injuries occasioned as a result of assault and forced sexual intercourse,” reads Kibet’s report.

The magistrate subsequently freed Wanjiru, with the State Law office later recommending that the two people accused of raping her be apprehended and charged.

But to date, Wanjiru is yet to receive justice since the suspects have neither been arrested nor charged for the offence of rape or action taken against the police officers who shielded the suspects.

Three months after the judgement was delivered, V I Kabaka, state counsel Eldoret, wrote to the police divisional investigation officer saying there was sufficient evidence to press rape charges.

“I have carefully perused facts of this case together with witness statements. I have also considered that the complainant had been charged with giving false information and was ultimately acquitted under Section 215,” read the letter.

The letter dated July 6, this year further says: “The evidence is sufficient to warrant the charging of the rape suspects with offence of rape contrary to Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act No 3 of 2006.”

However, another letter from Oluoch AO, a senior deputy state counsel in Eldoret, dated September 20, this year and addressed to Wanjiru contradicted his junior’s view.

Beats logic

“We have explained to the complainant the reasons leading to my decision not to charge the suspects. It beats logic to find on the same facts both the suspects and the complainant guilty of an offence,” read the letter addressed to Wanjiru’s lawyers.

For Wanjiru, her quest for justice seems to have hit a dead end as the alleged rapists walk Scot-free while police officers, who turned against her, continue to issue veiled threats.

“One of the officers met me in Langas (where she lives) and sarcastically told me I was fighting a losing battle,” she said.

Wanjiru is now appealing to Chief Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions to intervene and assist her get justice.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/sports/InsidePage.php?id=2000047087&cid=4

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4 Responses to “Heartache for woman denied justice after rape”

  1. jane said

    thats the kenya of today, mshitaki ndiye mshtakiwa, i wonder where we are heading to..

    • kemunto said

      Kenyan system is sooo rotten! Worsening the matter, how can an officer be sarcastic about a loosing battle? How would he/she feel if such inhumanity was towards her/his daughter, sister, mother or generally to a female relative? Meanwhile, while these sexual offenders are on the loose and probably harming more women, our “honourable members” are busy grabbing land and fighting for their billions but unavailable to bring justice to this poor girl…not even the women MP’s! Shame, shame and shame! I hope FIDA helps her!

  2. mwangi said

    Yaani only in Kenya! and we go chasing al sha in our back yard when we have lost control of our front yard! disgusting! and where are all the so called kenyan lawyers eehh if you cannot make the law of the land work for this woman what were you doing at law school!

  3. Cherono said

    This makes me sick to the stomach! Pathetic!. I wonder how much these idiots are paying the police to turn against the victims? They (police & perpetrators) do forget that they also have women in their families and such might happen to their children. Where are the groups for women rights? Be encourage dear and know that you may be powerless, but there is one who watches your tears and one day justice will be granted…I hope you find justice now that this is our in the limelight. These women abuse got to stop!

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