By NJERI RUGENE
An Administration Policeman in Busia county was arrested Wednesday over the rape of a 12-year old child in Busia county.
As Butula police prepared charges against the corporal from Bukhalire AP Camp, the family of yet another 12 year-old are seeking justice after the child was gang-raped by youths Saturday night in the same area.
The rapes were reported as human rights organisations and individual campaigners announced a street protest Thursday to press for the arrest and prosecution of suspects who gang-raped and violently attacked a 16-year old pupil also from Butula, four months ago.
The protesters intend to march through City streets to the Jogoo House office of Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo to present to him a petition signed by more than a million people globally calling for arrest and prosecution of the suspects.
KEEP OFF OUR PANTIES
The activists whose protest march will start at Uhuru Park’s Freedom Corner at 8am also want Administration Police officers in Tingolo who released three suspects and negligently handled the girl’s case when it was reported on June 27, punished.
The online petition which had by yesterday been signed by 1.2 million people, was created by Ms Nebila Abdumelik, through an international campaign network Avaaz.
The Nairobi protest march dubbed “keep off our panties,” is organised by Africaunite, an umbrella body of organisations that fight to end violence against women, the Coalition on Violence Against Women, African Women’s Communication and Development Network (Femnet), Youth Deliver and Avaaz.
“The organisations have resulted to a radical measure to call for the attention of the State and the need for the State to ensure action in addressing rape and specifically amplify the call for arrest of perpetrators of the gang rape of the 16 year old Liz,’’ said Ms Saida Ali, Covaw’s executive director.
The administration police officer was arrested in the afternoon following a complaint filed by a Butula-based child rights campaigner Ms Mary Makhoka. He was charged in court later with the offence. He denied and the charge and is now being held at Busia Police Station.
He was said to have defiled the child, a niece of a colleague, at the Bukhalire administration police lines on Monday. The girl was taken for medical check-up yesterday-three days after the defilement- at Khunyangu District Hospital in Butula by her guardian and officials from Ms Makokha’s Rural Education and Economic Enhancement Programme (REEP).
“She is badly shaken,and traumatised. We will have to put her on counselling and in a support group for defiled children.” Ms Makokha said.
YET ANOTHER ATTACK
In the second case, the Standard Five pupil said she was in the company of three other girls, when they were attacked by the youths as they walked home from a funeral wake late Saturday.
“The medical report indicates she is badly injured,’’ Ms Makokha said from Butula in the company of the child and her mother.
This comes against the backdrop of the Liz’s story that has since sparked a global outrage.
The family of the teenager, Liz, say she was attacked on June 26 beaten, gang-raped and dumped into a pit latrine by the suspects in a bid to conceal their crime.
The matter was reported to Tingolo Administration Police Camp also in Busia County a few kilometres from Bukhalire. Villagers also handed over three of the suspects to the police.
The incident was recorded as an assault, and the three assailants released after being made to cut grass in the compound as punishment.
Liz is now wheel-chair bound from a spinal injury and developed obstetric fistula from what doctors say is as a result of the rape.
She is receiving treatment at Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
JUSTICE FOR LIZ
The Nation Media Group galvanised a campaign for the girl to get treatment and justice which got overwhelming support from Kenyans and abroad.
Well-wishers have donated more than Sh700,000 towards the medical kitty. Nation staff visited the hospital last week and paid the girls bills of Sh583,000.
Mr Kimaiyo, through his twitter handle last Saturday gave an assurance that justice would be done in the Liz case. He said the matter had been investigated and the case was being handled through the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.
Mr Tobiko has said he has ordered arrests and prosecution of the suspects.
He told the Nation that he has also directed an inquiry into circumstances that led to the release of the three suspects and the poor handling of the case.
Wednesday, a statement from Avaaz announcing the protest march said,
“The march will begin at Freedom Corner and will see the women hand-in the petition started by Nebila-which will be carried in large cardboard boxes-to the police headquarters. They will hang up a washing line of dresses and underwear with campaign messages calling for change.’’