20 April 2018

Kenya: Two Rugby Players to Be Charged With Gang-Raping Singer, DPP Orders

Two rugby players are facing arrest after Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said they be charged with rape.

The two, Lawrence Frank Wanyama and Alex Mahaga Olaba, who play for Kenya Harlequin Rugby Club, were indicted after investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

The detectives relied on DNA examinations as well as the suspects' and complainant's statement, to assemble the case before Mr Haji gave the green light to take the matter to court.

The investigations started on February 11, when Kenyan female singer Wendy Kemunto singer reported to police that she was gang-raped at Seefa apartments in Highrise estate, Nairobi.

Six witnesses recorded statements and further examination in hospital established that the complaint was pregnant.

Besides examining the suspects and the complainant for DNA, detectives also wrote to the chief executive officer of Nairobi South hospital requesting for a medical report.

The complainant, in her statement told police she was attended to by medics at the facility. The singer was first to make the ordeal known to public by posting details on her Insta stories.

She claimed that she was gang raped overnight on her birthday, February 10. The singer, in a series of Insta stories, revealed that she became pregnant after the ordeal.

She said one of the rugby players, whose performance in the Kenya Sevens team has stunned many, had threatened to sue if she went public.

The singer went on to claim that one of the players lured her to his home after a night out. Screenshots of her ordeal were shared online as users called for the arrest and prosecution of the rugby players.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Twitter users launched a campaign to exert pressure on authorities to act swiftly.

The Kenya Rugby Union issued a statement saying that it does not condone sexual harassment and that it would await the outcome of police investigations.

"The matter will be reviewed as soon as practicable by the KRU, in line with existing procedures for all contracted players. KRU wishes to state that it does not condone sexual harassment or any other activity that goes against the spirit of World Rugby Regulation 20 and remains committed to continued respect, empowerment and increased participation of women in all aspects of the sport of rugby," the statement read in part.

Likewise, Kenya Harlequin Rugby Club chairman Mike Lucas reiterated the club's zero tolerance policy on any form of sexual harassment.

"A formal complaint has been lodged and the relevant authorities are investigating the matter. As one of Kenya's oldest and respected rugby clubs, we abide by a strict code of conduct that binds all players and officials of the club," Mr Lucas said.

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