Kenya: Reprieve for Ex-Kenya Sevens Duo in Rape Case

The High Court in Nairobi has on Tuesday ordered a retrial in a case involving two rugby stars Frank Wanyama and Alex Olaba.

Rugby players Alex Olaba, 23 and 22-year-old Frank Wanyama who were serving 15 years in prison each for raping a woman in 2018 got a reprieve after high court ordered their retrial.

They were handed the sentence by chief magistrate Martha Mutuku of Milimani law courts on August 16 last year. Mutuku had found them guilty of the offence of gang-rape.

Section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act of 2006 states that any person found guilty of gang-rape is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 15 years.

The two were convicted for gang-raping a musician on February 10, 2018 at a house party at Seefar apartments in Nyayo Highrise.

Grace Ngenye Macharia directed a repeat trial for the two after they successfully appealed. A retrial means the case will return to a lower court for a second or further trial on the same issues and with the same parties. A date for retrial has not yet been set.

The hearing of the appeal case was held via Zoom due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sources says a different magistrate will handle the retrial.

They had pleaded for non-custodial sentence after the conviction, through a lawyer.

They said through the lawyer that they were all drunk and the 24--year old woman had elected to spend the night at the apartment because she was drunk and she later tried to extort money from them.

The events that led to their incarceration started at a party in Spring Valley.

The complainant, a musician said one of the players lured her to his house after they left the party. She claimed the two later raped her in turns as she remained in and out of consciousness.

The lawyer said that one of them who was a student at Strathmore University students had secured a scholarship at a Canadian University while the other had entered into a contract with a club in Helsinki, Finland.

The duo have represented the national seven-a-side team, Shujaa.

Olaba and Wanyama started their rugby careers at Strathmore University with Strathmore Leos before switching to Kenya Harlequins.

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