24 April 2012

Kenya: Defiled Girl's Father Narrates Ordeal to Chief Justice

His daughter was sexually abused, kidnapped and found dead in mysterious circumstances but all the justice system left him with are papers.

This is the story heart-broken father Alexander Mwenge narrated to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga yesterday at the launch of sexual offenders register. The man recounted how two years ago, he took one of his daughters to a hospital in Garissa, leaving another one, 15, at home.

But on his return, his daughter was missing. He informed the police and after a long search, his daughter was found locked in a house. The man alleged to be responsible for kidnapping and sexually assaulting her was arrested and charged. The charges were dropped for unknown reasons and the man was released.

The second time, his daughter disappeared again and was found in the house of the same man. This time round, the man was arrested, charged and released on bail. No sooner was the man out on bail than he abducted the girl again.

But before the father could mount a fresh search for his daughter, he got a call informing him that she had died in hospital where she was taken after falling sick.

For now all he is left with are papers showing that there was a case in which a man was charged with sexually abusing his Form Three daughter.

And after listening to the story, Justice Mutunga noted how it is important for the police, the Judiciary, the State Law Office and other stakeholders to work together to ensure there is no weak link which will allow a miscarriage of justice. The sexual offenders register is a step towards the implementation of the Sexual Offences Act.

It is expected to be up and running by August. It will not be open to the public but one can access it through making application to the Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Gladys Shollei.

This register will form part of background check for institutions such as the Teachers Service Commission, the Public Service Commission and Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, among others, when considering individuals for employment.

The database for sexual offenders will contain the name of offenders, their ID numbers, the date of conviction, the nature of crime he or she has been convicted of, the age of the victim and rehabilitation details of the offender.

Head of court stations around the country will be required to feed into the database the information on sexual offenders within their area of operation within three months after conviction.

During the launch, Justice Mutunga said that the Judiciary is developing a manual for training judges and magistrates on the Act.

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