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Busia gang-rape case sparks protests

r Florentius Koech, a neurosurgeon, speaks to Liz and her mother at Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret

Dr Florentius Koech, a neurosurgeon, speaks to Liz and her mother at Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret

Doctors estimate that the girl’s treatment will cost Sh600,000. Those willing to assist her can send donations to M-Pesa pay bill number 500944.

Police in Busia have launched investigations into a case in which a pupil was gang-raped and assaulted more than three months ago.

Read: Anger as gang that raped, threw teen into a pit Latrine walks free in Busia, Kenya

When the matter was first reported to Administration Police (AP) officers in Tingolo AP Camp in Butula, Busia County, the officers ordered the three suspects who had been arrested by the public to slash grass in the police compound as punishment.

On Wednesday, it emerged that the officer to whom the attack was first reported recorded it only as assault.

The Standard Seven pupil was attacked on the night of June 26 as she walked home after attending her grandfather’s funeral.

In an attempt to conceal their crime, the attackers threw her into a pit meant for a latrine. She survived with a severe spinal injury and was sheltered at the Gynocare Fistula Centre in Eldoret about two months after the attack.

The teenager — who is now confined to a wheel-chair — later developed obstetric fistula as a result of the rape. In an extreme case such as hers, the condition leaves a woman with a leaking bladder and stool.

She is yet to undergo treatment because her family is too poor to raise money for treatment.

Ms Linner Too, a counsellor at the Centre, said the pupil returned home last week as the family seeks to raise money for her treatment.

On Wednesday, Busia County police commander Halima Mohamed visited the AP camp to initiate investigations. “We want to find out why action was not taken immediately,’’ said Ms Mohamed, who was posted to Busia in July.

Ms Mohamed also summoned the girl’s mother to record a fresh statement. She said police would also record statements from the pupil and the doctors who attended to her.

The teenager’s story was published  on Tuesday sparking anger among Kenyans including those in the diaspora.

Since Tuesday, newspaper readers have been sending emails and calling the Nation newsroom to find out how they can help. But even as they offered to help meet expenses for her treatment, they want the attackers arrested and justice done.

Many expressed disbelief that a crime of such magnitude could go unpunished. They also demanded that the police explain the failure to arrest the suspects.

Policemen inspect a hole from which a girl who was gang-raped was rescued in Busia County

Policemen inspect a hole from which a girl who was gang-raped was rescued in Busia County

On Wednesday, the parliamentary Committee on National Security also took up the matter.

“It is shocking and unbelievable. We want to get to the bottom of it,’’ said the committee chairman, Mr Asman Kimama, also the Tiaty MP.

The Nation Media Group offered to meet the teenager’s medical expenses. The Group also kicked a campaign to ensure justice for the girl.

Ms Ann Gitao-Kinyua, the Nation Media Group’s marketing director, said the organisation would keep the teenager’s story alive until the perpetrators are brought to book.
“Not only did she suffer a brutal crime that changed her life forever, she was also denied justice,” she said on Wednesday while kicking off the campaign to help Liz regain her life.

Doctors estimate that the girl’s treatment will cost Sh600,000. Those willing to assist her can send donations to M-Pesa pay bill number 500944.

-Nation

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