NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 9 – Kenya Harlequins duo Frank Wanyama and Alex Olaba have asked for light sentencing after they were found guilty of raping an upcoming musician at her Highrise Apartment in February last year.
A guilty verdict was passed on the two on Thursday afternoon and were set for sentencing on Friday, but Trial Magistrate Martha Mutuku has postponed the handing of sentence to August 16 to consider mitigation by the two.
However, the prosecution is opposed to the plea, saying they should be handed the mandatory 15-year or life sentence which is provided for under the Sexual Offences Act.
“The Sexual Offences Act provides strict liability for offenders considering the victim is equally young,” the prosecution argued.
Through their advocate John Simiyu, Olaba and Wanyama, both of who have played for the national sevens team have implored the Court to give them a non-custodial sentence arguing on grounds that they are youthful University students.
“As young as they are, they also come from humble backgrounds and it is through their career that they have been able to support their kin,” the defense advocate argued.
Further, the court was curiously asked to consider while passing it’s sentence that “they had not planned to meet the victim on the material date” with lawyer Simiyu going on to explain there was a level of intoxication between them and the complainant who they exchanged pleasantries with before retiring to Sifa Apartments.
The defense further argued that the two are since remorseful and a lenient sentence will enable them further their careers.
While Olaba has not been a regular with the national team, Wanyama who announced himself to the Kenyan rugby scene at the 2015 Safari Sevens where he was one of the star performers as Kenya reached the final, only to lose to Samurai.
Wanyama was also part of the historic Kenyan team that clinched the 2016 Singapore Sevens Main Cup title, scoring a try in the 30-7 win over Fiji in the final.
-Additional information courtesy Melanie Mburu