How rogue officers in Baringo collude to defeat justice for defiled girls

Defiled girls

Defiled girls cry for justice in Baringo county goes unheard. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Last May, a 15-year-old Form Two student in Baringo North was sent home by her school over fees arrears, just a week after institutions re-opened for the second term. She never arrived home.

Two days later, her family received a tip-off that the minor had been spotted at a primary school teacher’s house and a search by villagers and relatives was launched.

The minor was allegedly found cohabiting with her teacher and they were both arrested and taken to a police station but released a few days later.

Since then, the student is yet to report to school. The suspect on the other hand was never presented in court, with claims that he had colluded with government officers and the minor’s parents to review the minor’s age upwards, acquiring her an ID to subvert justice.

Rights groups in the region tried to push to have the suspect arraigned but were allegedly frustrated by police and the prosecution. There are claims that the teacher allegedly bribed his way out to ‘save his job.’

According to Isaiah Biwott, a human rights activist, the minor’s guardian was advised by police to take her home as they waited for the suspect to be charged. But the student went missing soon after, with claims that her family may have aided her disappearance after colluding with the suspect in a cover-up.

“The suspect was arrested but was not arraigned as expected after he allegedly bribed his way out while the suspect was taken to a relative’s place away from Baringo,” claimed Mr Biwott.

“We tried to push the case but we were frustrated by the police and the prosecution and some unionists who openly indicated they were protecting the suspect from being interdicted. We resorted to writing a letter to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in July, raising concern about why the suspect had not been arraigned,” stated the activist.

In September, the ODPP responded to the activists’ complaints and demanded that the case proceed, which saw the teacher re-arrested. This is where the intricacies of a corrupt government system came into play.

According to activists, the suspect colluded with police officers and registration officers to bungle the case by illegally obtaining an identification card for the student, giving her an older age even though she was a minor.

“We were shocked to learn that by the time we were raising our concerns to the ODPP, the suspect had colluded with the minor’s parents and some officers to acquire an ID for her to conceal her real age,” claims Mr Biwott.

According to the original birth certificate, the student was born in 2008, but the allegedly manipulated ID was issued to her on September 22, 2023, and seen by The Nation indicates that she was born on February 10, 2004.

The victim is yet to be presented in court, has not reported to school, and is allegedly in hiding, while in constant communication with the suspect so that she is not presented in court as a complainant.

The Nation established that the suspect who is out on bond has been transferred from his previous working station.

Reached for comment, county children coordinator Omuse Otjom and county registrar of persons Monicah Kurgoi said the claims have not been reported to their offices and promised to follow up on the matter.

“I am not aware that some officers are issuing identification cards to minors by manipulating their birth certificates. Those are very serious allegations and I promise to follow up on the matter,” said Ms Kurgoi.