Ipoa probes Kabarnet police for detaining defilement victim

Sexual violence

A defilement victim. Police in Kabarnet are on the spot for locking up a Class Five girl for more than six days.

Photo credit: Courtesy

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) has moved to investigate the case of a Standard Five pupil who was locked up for more than six days.

The schoolgirl, a victim of sexual assault, was detained while the suspect behind was allegedly released on free bond.

Ipoa on Monday visited the police station and the village in Baringo South to gather facts on what transpired on the fateful day that led to the arrests.

“We have taken over the matter and we will follow it to the latter to ensure that justice is dispensed. We have toured the village and the victim’s homestead to gather preliminary reports that will form part of the probe.,” said an Ipoa official who sought anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the press.

The case has taken another twist after as the suspect, who was to be arranged on Monday, is hiding.

Locals claim that apart from being locked up in a cell for nearly a week, the minor suffered a lot of humiliation after she was handcuffed together with the suspect and bundled onto a motorcycle in the full glare of the villagers before being taken to the police station.

The incident happened on August 23 when the girl went to buy lunch at the shopping centre and the hotel attendant lured her to his house.

Locals who spotted the duo entering the house in the afternoon raised alarm and rescued the girl.

Free bond

According to Mr Simion Namba, the suspect was released by police on free bond on claims that he had sustained injuries after he was beaten, while the girl was detained for six days.   

“After the suspect was released and the girl detained at the police station for six days, I went to question why this happened only to be told by the officer in charge of the station that they were protecting the minor,” said Mr Namba.

 “I learnt that the girl had been locked up with eight other adults,” he added.

The elder noted that the occurrence book at the station indicated that the suspect had been released.

 “Why detain a victim of sexual molestation, who is also a minor and release the perpetrator. This will make minors shy away from reporting such cases in future for fear of being subjected to the same treatment,” said Mr Namba.

The girl’s mother is now seeking justice for her daughter. She accuses the police of locking her child in a cell with adults for nearly a week yet she had committed no crime.


“I am still wondering why my daughter was detained in a cell yet she was the victim. That is violating the rights of that child. I want justice for my child,” said the parent.

Baringo Deputy County Police Commander Joseph Argut told Nation.Africa that because the suspect had been beaten up by locals, he was released on free bond while the girl was interrogated.

 “The suspect was released on bond because he had sustained injuries from the beating by villagers. The was adamant to divulge anything on what had transpired, forcing the officers to detain her in order to give her more time to open up,” said Mr Argut.

 “The minor was released after she gave accounts of the incident and the suspect will be arraigned in court on Monday to answer charges of attempted defilement and indecent act,” he added.

The incident comes barely a month after the county’s children department raised concern over rising cases of sexual violence against children.  

Sexual offences

County’s children coordinator Omuse Otjom said that many cases of sexual offences were recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in urban areas and informal settlements including Marigat, Kabarnet,Eldama Ravine, Mogotio and Kabartonjo.

 “Though there are many cases of defilement especially in the remote villages, many of them go unreported and the few that reach us are those reported by the police after a minor conceives. Some also get to us through the ministry of health,” he added.

He indicated that cases of teenage pregnancies had risen in the region during the pandemic, with some school going girls in the remote villages being married off.

 “Many cases of defilement go unreported, or are solved through kangaroo courts,” said Mr Otjom.

 “I urge children who fall victim to gender-based-violence cases to report to the authorities,” he added.

A month ago, A 10-year-old girl from Barwessa in Baringo North was allegedly defiled by her 50-year-old uncle. She succumbed to her injuries at the Sunrise Children’s Home in Kabarnet.  

The girl’s woos started three years ago when the uncle started to molest her sexually. He allegedly warned her of dire consequences if she ever divulged what was happening to anyone.

According to a relative, the minor braved the molestation until May this year when she decided to run away from her aunt’s house.

 “The girl disappeared from her aunt’s house for six days, prompting the locals to mount a search. She was later found hiding in the bush where she disclosed that she was being sexually abused by her uncle,” said the relative.

 She was taken to the Baringo County Referral Hospital where she was treated and placed under the care of Sunrise Children’s home for safe custody.

According to the statistics by the Children Protection Information Management System (CPIMS), more than 46 cases of defilement were reported in Baringo County between March last year and June this year, with the highest cases being girls between 11 and 15 years.

Violence against children

During a tour to Bartabwa in Baringo North with the World Vision in commissioning of projects that would mitigate on violence against children, Labour CS Simon Chelugui said the government is committed towards reducing the prevalence of violence against Children by 40 per cent by 2023.

He warned that those subjecting minors to labour, trafficking, and defilement will be arrested and arraigned in court.

 “The full force of the law will apply to anybody who is engaging children in any form of violence. Our officers are under clear instructions to act immediately to save children,” said CS Chelugui.

He said statistics from CPIMS shows between January and June this year, more than 1,539 cases of violence against children were reported in Baringo.

“Baringo North reported 27 cases, Baringo Central, 274, Baringo South 593, Eldama Ravine 455, Mogotio 159 and Tiaty 31. I am calling upon all of us to take up our responsibility to protect children and when we spot violence against them, to speak up,” he noted.