Cases of sexual violence against minors at the Coast common to a shocking rate
Paedophiles are on the prowl in Coast region and children are no longer safe.
Several cases have been reported of pupils as young as 10 years, both girls and boys, who have been victims of defilement, incest and/or sodomy.
Eleven-year-old Athman (not his real name) from Likoni in Mombasa shudders and jitters in tension, whenever his teacher’s name David Joseph is mentioned.
Athman recalls how the teacher abducted him over a year ago and held him captive for several months in a period which he literally converted him to his ‘wife’, subjecting him to a litany of agonising sodomy.
“He would caress me on the neck, ribs and waist then force me to sleep with him… it was painful. I still feel severe pains on my back and the genitals,” says the Standard Five pupil.
The minor’s mother claims on unspecified date in October 2014, the man who taught at a primary school in Kikambala, abducted her son and took him to his house. The teacher kept him captive for six months, defiling him every day until the boy managed to escape back to their Likoni home.
Athman was in company of friends and had gone swimming at Mama Ngina Drive beach, near Likoni, when the teacher emerged and lured him into his car.
While in the car, the teacher reportedly forced him to change into different clothes before speeding off to Mtwapa after dumping his original clothes at the beach.
“He used to defile me, every day at night and in the morning. He would threaten me with a knife that he could kill me if I dared disclosed to anyone what he was doing to me,” says the minor.
Today, it’s a year and several months down the line and the 48-year old paedophile is still scot-free even after the incident was reported and recorded at Mtwapa and Likoni police stations.
The teacher on his part has denied the allegations as unfounded and malicious.
“If the claims are factual, will the boy be walking upright today? That could have been a hospital case I suppose . . . Can’t you read fiction in the story?” poses the teacher in a telephone interview.
The teacher maintains that he had been given custody of the minor, under the foster care placement rules by the children’s office in Mombasa, after the boy’s mother consented to the agreement.
“I have been taking care of this child since 2013 when I adopted him. The mother consented in the adoption form for me to look after this child, since they live in a destitute way,” says the teacher.
A P3 form filled at the Coast Provincial General hospital indicates that the school boy suffered “anal laceration, a loose sphincter muscles possibly due to repeated anal penetration using blunt object”.
By the time of the interview the minor was yet to receive treatment amidst clear claims that he had developed fistula.
Athman’s mother reported the matter which was recorded under OB number 39/6/15 but says no action was taken against the perpetrator.
The mother says she was advised to report the matter at Central Police Station where it was handed over to CID officers. The suspect was arrested by CID officers from Likoni Police Station on July 16, 2015 but was released shortly afterwards under unclear circumstances.
“When I followed up the matter with the officer in charge of the case, I was told that I should pay him KSh2, 000, for fuel used during trips to the suspect’s home in Kikambala and back,” she says.
The mother alleges that, the perpetrator changed the minor’s named to Daudi Mwangi so as to disguise his identification.
“He’s a 10-year-old minor who has to use diapers since he is unable to control himself. He needs money to undergo operation to help him regain his manhood,” says the mother.
The case represents a growing number of cases of sexual abuses against minors at the Coast, with Kilifi County leading with the highest number of reported cases.
In one of the most recent cases reported in the neighbouring Kilifi County, a cleric in Malindi sub-County was reported to have sodomised his five-year-old step-son.
The cleric’s wife revealed that she had left her husband with the boy but on returning home in the evening, boy informed her of his step father’s action.
“When I returned, my son told me that the step-dad had entered the room and sodomised him. I thought I had left my son in safe custody of my husband, little did I know that I had left him with a ‘serpent’,” the woman says.
In another incident reported in Kajajini Village in Malindi sub-county, recently, a mentally challenged 12-year-old boy was rushed to Mewa Hospital for corrective surgery after he developed rectal prolapse where the last part of the large intestine turned inside out after he was repeatedly sodomised by a neighbour.
Sources say the suspect had taken advantage of the victim’s mental illness and had been sodomising him for a long time.
These cases tell the story of child abuse in Kilifi County. According to Caroline Achami, area Children’s Officer her office gets at least one such case every five days. She notes that most cases go unreported.
Maurice Tsuma, County Coordinator of Children Services says they had identified private villas in Mambrui area that were being used as hideouts for child prostitution.
It has been difficult for children’s officers to launch crackdowns on the villas since they are owned by influential individuals.
Tsuma says majority of minors who end up in child prostitution in the area are trafficked from upcountry to places like Mtwapa, Kilifi, Malindi, and Watamu and belatedly to Mambrui.
In Taita Taveta County, the situation is not any different. A case was reported in the media recently of a man who in a fit of anger brutally murdered a minor after he defiled her in the remote village of Choke in Wundanyi sub-County.
The attacker was arrested and lynched by angry villagers. Officer Commanding Wundanyi Police Division, Benjamin Muhia said the suspect was 55 years old and had been spotted abducting the nine-year-old Class Three pupil before locking her inside a house where he defiled and then used an axe to behead her.
Responding to the alarm, Muhia says irate villagers turned out in large numbers and raided the attacker’s house, but it was too late as by the time they gained entry, the attacker had already murdered the girl.