Monthly Archives: July 2017

Ruto wrong, TJRC report is the key to peace not chaos by Christine Alai


Deputy President William Ruto’s claim that implementing the recommendations of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report would breed “chaos” is an open insult to thousands of victims of gross human rights violations in this country.

His statement is not only shocking and disappointing but also untrue — in fact, it is the failure to implement the TJRC Report that is a sure recipe for “chaos”.

Victims and survivors of gross human rights violations committed by the colonial and post-Independence governments have struggled to secure implementation of the TJRC recommendations since May 2013. Among these are victims of massacres, extrajudicial killings, assassinations, unlawful detention, torture, sexual violence, land injustices and state-sanctioned systematic discrimination based on gender, region or ethnicity.


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Survivors unite, fearing a repeat of rape in upcoming Kenyan election by Joyce J. Wangui

In the violence that rocked Kenya following the disputed elections of 2007, the media reported hundreds of cases of sexualized violence. Jane’s was one of them.

Jane, who asked me to hide her real name, was gang-raped in 2008. Today, she grapples with HIV, trauma, and empty promises of reparation. Her husband was killed in the violence, she says, but his body has never been found. “I need to speak out but I am so afraid of stigma,” she said. “I am tired of hiding in the cocoon of confidentiality. It’s killing me.”

Kenya descended into chaos following the disputed election results of December 2007 in which the incumbent, President Mwai Kibaki, was declared the winner. The verdict was bitterly contested by supporters of his main challenger, opposition leader Raila Odinga. What followed was violence and chaos that led to the deaths of more than 1,000 people and the displacement of around 500,000. The Commission of Inquiry on Post-Election Violence, or the Waki Commission, documented at least 900 cases of sexualized violence against women, girls, men and boys during that time, including “heart-wrenching tales of rape, gang rape, sexual mutilation, loss of body parts, and hideous deaths.” Other reports from advocacy organizations estimated the number to be much, much higher.

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Why sexual violence remains a scourge in Kenya by Lydia Muthiani

Sexual violence remains a scourge in Kenya, with its most prevalent form being defilement. In 2014 alone, there were 6,101 defilement cases, while the number of sexual offences nationally was 13,828. One such case came before Judge Said Chitembwe in Malindi, in an appeal that overturned the conviction of a 24-year-old man alleged to have defiled a girl aged 13. The decision attracted the 2017 Golden Bludgeon Award, an international award created by Women’s Link Worldwide to highlight the positive and negative impacts of judicial decisions on the lives of women and girls. It was picked as the worst judicial decision affecting the rights of women and girls.

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Justice Lacking for Victims of Kenya’s Post-Election Violence by Agnes Odhiambo

Wamuyu told me how she was brutally gang-raped by three men in Busia, western Kenya, during the violence that engulfed Kenya following the disputed presidential election in December 2007. Her husband was murdered in the violence, she says, and her home destroyed. Wamuyu described the physical impact of the rape to me: “My uterus [had to be] removed. My back was damaged, my legs were broken, and I had to walk with crutches for almost three years.”

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Judge shoots to global infamy for shameful verdict

A Kenyan judge who freed a man convicted of defiling a minor has attracted the international spotlight, with his ruling being judged the worst in the world for the past year.

Justice Said Juma Chitembwe, ruled that the child appeared willing to have sex with the defendant.

He, therefore, on April 25 last year, set free Martin Charo, 24, who had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old.

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