NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 02 – The police now say it is unlikely 16 year old Busia girl popularly known as just ‘Liz’ was gang raped in the wee hours of June 27, 2013.
The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo made the revelation on Saturday just two days after women’s advocacy group Femnet mounted demonstrations outside his Jogoo House Office.
“Unfortunately, our investigations have revealed information which the public do not have and which members of the public need to appreciate before they offer a blanket condemnation on the incident,” he said in a statement.
Kimaiyo said the findings of their investigations do not corroborate the girl’s account pointing out that the time that elapsed between Liz calling out for help and her being found did not allow for a gang rape.
“The time span between the screams for help and when the villagers actually came out to her rescue is given as too short for six assailants to have gang raped her,” Kimaiyo’s statement reads.
Kimaiyo also based his analysis on the fact that Liz was repeatedly asked both by her mother and medical personnel whether she was raped and she responded to the negative.
The Inspector General of Police did not however factor in the stigma and trauma that are the natural consequence of a sexual assault.
Even so he went on to explain that she was not found in a pit-latrine as alleged but three metres away from one under a mango tree where she sat after pulling herself out of the pit latrine.
“The girl later explained that she fell into the pit latrine as she was escaping from the assailants and that she struggled on her own to come out of it,” he reported.
On further interrogation, Administration Police Spokesman Masoud Mwinyi also denied the allegation that the police ‘sentenced’ Liz’ assailants to grass-cutting for their crime.
In his statement Kimaiyo explains that the assailants were only set free after the girl’s and assailants’ parents agreed to put the matter behind them.
“The girl gave the names of some of the assailants who she was able to identify and they were rounded up and arrested and taken to Tingolo AP Camp…deliberations between the families also resolved to have the suspects released since the condition of the girl was not serious.”
A determination Kimaiyo says was made only after the girl was subjected to a medical examination at the Musibiri Dispensary.
“It is only after she was admitted at Kakamega District Hospital on August 26, 2013 that she disclosed that she had been raped,” Kimaiyo said in his statement.
And Mwinyi told Capital FM News that none of the medical reports neither from Musibiri or Kakamega, where she had been taken after complaining of lower back pain, indicated that she had been raped.
Getting to the crux of the matter, Kimaiyo explained that while his office had forwarded Liz’ case file to the Director of Public Prosecutions, he found it unlikely that it would go much further.
“Elizabeth took two months for her to report this fact. It may therefore be futile to charge the suspects in a court of law with rape without proper evidence as the case will just collapse,” he projected.
He did however say that he would be instituting disciplinary action against the three AP officers who witnessed the girl’s and assailants’ parents reach an agreement; not for assuming the role of the Judiciary but for failing to, “record the agreement in writing.”
“Their key mistake is that this agreement was not recorded in writing. This is a matter which is treated as a serious procedural oversight and disciplinary action has been instituted against the officers,” he said.
Kimaiyo’s mitigation measures may have however come a little too late with Chief Justice Willy Mutunga having already ordered investigations into the police’s handling of the affair.