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CALL TO ACTION: Stand with Liz and help her walk again

 

Liz at Gynocare Centre in Eldoret town on September 21, 2013, who was brought in from Busia, with a spine injury. The victim was thrown into a 20 feet pit by six men who defiled her. The attackers are still free.

Liz at Gynocare Centre in Eldoret town on September 21, 2013, who was brought in from Busia, with a spine injury. The victim was thrown into a 20 feet pit by six men who defiled her. The attackers are still free.

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.

On Tuesday this week, this newspaper carried a story about a Standard Seven girl who, three months ago, was waylaid by a group of six men, beaten up and raped, then dumped in a pit latrine.

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Today, the happy-go-lucky girl who had hoped to one day become the CEO of a leading company is confined to a wheelchair.

Doctors say she might have broken her spinal cord either during the rape ordeal or after she was thrown in the pit latrine.

And, as if that is not tragic enough, the girl has developed obstetric fistula, a condition that leaves a woman with a leaking bladder and, in extreme conditions such as hers, leakage of stool as well.

Readers reacted with shock and horror to the story, with many asking how they could help the girl — whom we shall henceforth call Liz to protect her identity — on her journey to recovery.

The National Assembly’s committee on National Security Wednesday said it would take up the matter, with Chairman Asman Kamama saying MPs want to find out why police did not take action against the teenager’s attackers.

“This is a shocking and unbelievable matter,” said the URP MP for Tiaty. “We want to establish whether there was any commission or omission.’’

As Mr Kamama read the riot act on the police, the Nation Media Group was setting up an account to help offset Liz’s medical bills, and today we publish some of the thousands of messages of goodwill to the brave girl we have received in the past few days.

Ms Anne Gitao-Kinyua, the Nation Media Group Marketing Director, says it is all for a worthy cause because, as a media organisation, “we encounter heart-wrenching stories every day, but every now and then we come across a case that is particularly moving”.

“Liz’s story is one such example,” says Ms Kinyua. “Not only did she suffer a brutal crime that changed her life forever, she was also denied justice. The response from our readers has been overwhelming and they have called and written to us asking how they can help. Nation Media Group has therefore taken the initiative to galvanise the public to raise funds towards Liz’s treatment and rehabilitation. We also plan to keep her story alive until the perpetrators of this crime are brought to book.”

Well, as one of our readers says, the strength of a community lies in its people.

The philosophy of Ubuntuism, the ideology that I cannot be me without you, must thrive within us if we are to achieve any upward mobility, and Liz, at her greatest time of need, reminds us of that divine calling.

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Hello,

I read Liz’s story with lots of tears in my eyes…. I can’t stop shedding tears. Her life has been changed forever.

Thank God for time, she will learn to live with the pain. How can I be of help? Is there an M-Pesa number I can use?

She needs a lawyer who will make sure those six beasts are locked in forever.

Thank you so much for highlighting this, and for the other articles you have been doing. This is a good job.

Wairimu Mahinge

Nairobi

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Dear Liz,

In case you haven’t received enough donations by now, we warmly invite you and your mother to come to Nairobi and stay at our Half-Way House while undergoing the necessary operations at a hospital of your choice.

If the donations that you have received will not be enough to pay for your medical bills, we will provide for payment of the same.

Irene (Director) and NEST Team

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Hello,

I am shocked and disturbed by this story.

I am a law student at Moi University and my friends and I plan to visit the girl and help follow up her case.

I propose that we do something to help her access the medical procedure she requires. Let’s do something, say, a walk or a fundraising. We are ready to marshall Moi University students.

Mulati Daniel

Moi University

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Hello,
Liz needs both medical and society’s help.

I would like to contribute Sh50,000 towards her medical bill. Please confirm with the doctor what treatment can be done with that and liaise with me to confirm in whose name can I write the cheque.

Suresh Kanotra

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Hello,

My name is Terry Kunina, the Programme Associate for Advocacy and Campaign Management at Coalition on Violence Against Women.

This story was brought to our attention and we would like to follow up and see that the young girl gets justice.

We would like to request for any contacts you may have that can assist us in this process.

These could include the MP’s contacts, the hospital’s contacts, and the police contacted.

This is an atrocity and as an organisation we would like to do the best we can to make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and that Liz receives the best care possible.

Any assistance on this will be much appreciated.

Terry Kunina.

COVAW—Kenya

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To the writer,

I commend you for the courage to bring a story of such magnitude to light. May God bless you. As for Liz, you are indeed a champion.

I have read about your dreams and ordeal. What amazes is that you still have that audacity of hope. You will overcome.

You will rise again. I pray that you quickly get well, be on your feet and achieve your dreams.

Life is for people like you and the Almighty God is ever with you.

Daniel Misiani

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Hello,

I read the story with total disbelief and disgust. That such a thing can happen in Kenya today is totally unacceptable.

What is all this talk about police and judicial reforms then? Sometimes one just hates being a Kenyan! What about the local leadership? County Women’s Representative, the local chief….

We wish her well, but I also wish other legal bodies, including FIDA and Kituo Cha Sheria, would come out and ensure that Liz’s tormentors are brought to book, and fast.

Action must also be taken on the local police where the incident was first reported.

One can already smell a rotten rat. Why did the APs take the matter so casually? Thank you for highlighting Liz’s suffering.

Please do not let this matter die. Keep up the pressure!

James Muriuki

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Hello,

I read the story of Liz in dismay as tears welled in my eyes. I am appalled that the police would let such a heinous act go unpunished.

What the attackers — those sorry excuses of human beings — did to Liz is intolerable.

Why the governor’s office would ignore such a serious matter is incomprehensible. I pray for Liz that she will soon walk again and fulfill her dream of becoming a CEO.

Action should be taken against the criminals and also the policemen who are sleeping on their jobs, because what they are telling these rapists is ‘what you did was okay, you can do it again and get away with it’. Something NEEDS to be done.

Something HAS to be done.

Muthoni Wangari

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Hello,

Thank you so much for having featured this shocking and saddening story. I’m in tears, pain, and anger, to say the least. I’m a woman, a mother and a Kenyan, and it makes me so sad, so mad to imagine that justice was not given to this girl.

If our society does not stand up and fight for Liz, then we have sent a message to people that it is okay to rape and harm someone, and all you can do is “cut grass” while a girl’s dream is shattered.

It just breaks my heart that we do not have enough justice to keep our people safe.

Please keep us updated on how Liz does. I shall make a small kitty donation to help our sister. Thanks so much for giving a voice to Liz.

Evelyn Maishipai Brenda,

Germany

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To Liz,

It really saddens me to read your story and know that there are human beings out there who can be so barbaric.

But on the other hand I am touched by your courage and inspired by your will to not only survive, but also overcome such difficult circumstances.

But the most tragic thing is the apathy in people we expect protection from — the law enforcers. I would like to support you by donating towards your medical fund.

Let me know where I can channel my donation. Keep up your spirit and you will overcome. Remember, you are a survivor, not a victim.

David Ogucha

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Hello,

I am so deeply disturbed by your article. I used to live in — and deeply love — Kenya, although now I live in Pakistan where women are raped and mutilated and murdered every day.

It is sickening, as is the failure of the system to protect them.

The apathy of the people who do not care for the lives of their daughters, sisters and mothers is also sickening.

Will you please let me know if any action has been taken? I would like to recommend to my colleagues in Kenya that they follow up on your excellent article.

Katharine Houreld Afghanistan/Pakistan Correspondent

Thomson Reuters

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Dear Rugene,

I have read your story on Liz and it is disheartening to learn that the county authorities have done nothing about it.

What about the Busia County Women’s Representative? Is she in the know? If so, what has she done about it?

Is there an M-Pesa helpline where funds can be channeled to assist in her recovery? I feel we should embrace the WE ARE ONE concept and help in whatever way we can.

As Kenyans we should help this girl get her life back on track and also punish the culprits who did this.

The body mandated to deal with women’s rights should take her case and pursue justice for her.

 

-Nation

 

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