Rapists On The Loose in Kisumu
Forty five (45) suspected rapists are said to be roaming free in Seme, Kisumu County since no one was willing to identify them for fear of being attacked.
This has sent shivers down the spines of many stakeholders who appealed to local security apparatus to move swiftly and arrest the culprits before they harmed more victims with impunity aware that nothing could be done against them.
The revelation came to the fore Tuesday during the County Gender Technical Working Group (GTWG) forum chaired by Kisumu County Director of Gender Jane Obiero where the participants were told that 40 girls had also been sexually violated by wife inheritors.
Obiero said although majority of the notorious wife inheritors who abused the girls emanated from the neighbouring Luanda area in Vihiga County, other culprits were living right in their midst and were blood relatives to the victims.
She singled out the sub-counties of Seme, Muhoroni and Nyando where there were serious cases of sexually related Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and urged local residents to bite the bullet and expose the criminals who should face the law.
Japheth Terer, the facilitator from Health department disclosed that in all the seven sub-counties; Muhoroni, Kisumu East, Kisumu West, Seme, Nyando, Nyakach and Kisumu Central computed a high reporting rate of 80% in all health centers in the County.
Terer stated that the rate stood at 96% in terms of completeness for all the sub-counties and 90% timeliness of reporting such cases in the health centers.
“In 2017, there were 371 reported SGBV cases out of which only 310 survivors successfully went through the Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP),” he revealed to the attentive forum who later had time to analyze the data presented to them.
He pointed out that out of the 793 SGBV cases and 483 rape survivors seen in all health facilities in Kisumu, 36 of them were confirmed to be pregnant four weeks after the exposure with the data collected covering ages from 0 – 50 years.
“In terms of those seen in the health facilities; 0 – 9 years had 50 clients thus translating to 13.43% while 10 – 17 years age bracket recorded 178 clients constituting 47.96% and 18 – 49 years 133 clients thus 35.85% and those aged 50+ had 10 clients translating to 2.7%”, he said.
Subsequently, Terer observed, stakeholders unanimously agree that there was need to strengthen the Healthcare sector with focus on our health facilities and personnel who required continuous support as a motivation to create greater impact.
It also emerged that Kisumu County Strategic Plan which ends in 2018 should be reviewed as the County moved into the future, considering that staff in the respective health facilities have already strengthened their documentation.
However, Terer voiced stakeholders’ concern that there has been a big challenge since there was no follow up of clients with participants charging that most Medical Officers of Health (MOHs) usually focused at HIV and Reproductive Health issues only at treatment level.
What roused the interest of participants was the revelation by a member that Kisumu County was running out of condoms attributing this to the recent government ban on plastics and its related products.
Betty Okero and colleagues who represented the GTWG team at the Kisumu County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP II) said it was disheartening that SGBV issues were totally sidelined and there was no mention of the same let alone setting aside allocations for it.
However, Okero and colleagues admitted that since most SGBV survivors were dropped out of the program owing to inadequate funding, the GTWG should this time round interrogate the CIDP II to identify the gaps and give appropriate recommendations.
The forum noted that there was urgent need to create a sector for Gender out of the nine already created, while laying emphasis on the economic components that would help in making women become independent as an affirmative action.
Meanwhile, Maseno law court will deliver final judgment in a case in which a local chief was charged with having defiled an underage girl.
All stakeholders who were present at the Kisumu County GTWG said they would be present in the court in large numbers to witness firsthand the outcome of the case.
The case was first filed by former Seme Sub-County Children’s Officer Beatrice Ouma in 2016 with full support of child protection agencies who closely followed the case believing that justice would finally be served as a deterrent measure.
By Joseph Ouma