A shocking rape incident at a village in Siaya county in Kenya that led to the death of a Standard Two girl last Thursday has left bitter acrimony between in-laws who are at the centre of the case.
One side of the affected families is yet to come to terms with the untimely death of the 11-year-old pupil who was buried last Saturday after she succumbed to injuries linked to the alleged defilement reportedly in the hands of her maternal uncle a month ago.
The girl, who was a pupil at Magungu primary school, died at the Siaya County Referral Hospital due to complications linked to the rape ordeal.
A medical report dated June 11 indicates that she collapsed and died while being treated at the county hospital.
Before her demise, the minor could not walk or stand, having been paralysed as a result of the beastly incident, which saw her remain admitted at the facility for close to three weeks, according to her father.
Strangely, the beast in whose hands the innocent girl is said to have met her painful death is still a free man – roaming about village after police failed to arrest him, allegedly having been compromised.
Protect the suspect from the law
It has emerged that the incident which took place at Kanyago village in Kadenge sub-location in May was kept secret for a week ostensibly to protect the suspect from the law.
The man’s parents, who are the child’s grandparents, are said to have played a role in keeping the matter secret.
For a week after the heinous act, the victim’s maternal relatives told neighbours who saw the young girl struggling to walk that she had fallen off a stool.
But the cover was blown by a confession made by the victim’s elder sister who is said to have caught the man red-handed defiling the minor.
She went on to help her younger sister clean the blood-soaked skirt and underwear as their uncle fled from the scene.
It is shocking that even after the details of what transpired became public, the victim’s maternal guardians are reported to have refused to have it pursued by the police in a calculated move believed to have been aimed at shielding their son from prosecution.
Instead, they opted to hire a boda boda operator to ferry the victim, together with her elder sister back to their home in Central Alego ward.
On Thursday, the girl’s grieving father had only one request: quick justice for his daughter.
“All I’m asking the State to do is arrest the suspect and take him to court. Although the loss suffered is unbearable, getting justice for my daughter would help bring closure to my family,” he said.
The victim’s grandmother, who used to take care of her together with her other four siblings after the death of their mother in 2017, on Thursday claimed she was thrown out by the officers at Ratuoro police patrol base where she first reported the matter.
“Instead of having the issue recorded in the OB, I got a very hostile reception from unfriendly officers who threw me out for trying to file a complaint,” she claimed in an interview at Madungu primary school where the victim was a pupil.
She later made a similar report to the police at the Siaya police station on the advice of doctors who reviewed the condition of her granddaughter and claims the treatment she received was not any different from what she experienced at the patrol base.
“The OCS who is a lady officer told me to go and look for the suspect on my own and bring him to the station if I need action taken. She also blamed me for the incident alleging that it happened because we abdicated our parental obligation by allowing the child to live in her uncle’s house,” she said.
During the interview on Thursday, she further claimed that she had been threatened by her in-laws who asked her never to set foot in their home for pressing for the prosecution of their son.
“They have been doing everything possible to defeat justice and we have information that they compromised police officers at Ratuoro. The suspect whom the officers claim is at large is frequently spotted in the area and sometimes even visits the patrol base, ” she said.
Always topped her class
The school’s PTA Chairman Mr Christian Mwithiga described the victim as a disciplined girl who was always topped her class.
“We have lost a promising pupil in a cruel manner and we will not rest until we see action meted out against the beast who did this to her,” he said.
Her father said a post-mortem report confirmed that she died due to complications related to the rape incident.
But the suspect’s father on Friday vehemently denied the accusations terming them as false.
He claimed that the girl fell down from a stool and was taken to Ratuoro health centre for treatment.
“The treatment reports are there. What is being peddled around is not true,” he said.
On Friday, Siaya county Police commander Francis Kooli confirmed that he was aware of the case but defended the police against claims of inaction, adding that investigations into the matter were ongoing.
“The matter was reported to us and the case was later handed over to DCI detectives who have been pursuing it,” he said.
Mr Kooli further claimed that his officers facilitated the autopsy and even witnessed the process.
“An officer from the regular police department and a detective from DCI were both present during the procedure, which was done as part of the investigations,” he noted.
He said that the culprit was still at large but was being pursued by detectives.