What you need to know:
- The ranger reportedly spent three days with the pupil in a forest within Kiunga and lied to police officers in the area that he had found her in the forest.
- Ummulkheir Ahmed, a field officer at Lamu’s branch of Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri), praised authorities for acting quickly and arresting one of their own in pursuit of justice for the girl.
A Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) ranger has been arrested for allegedly defiling a 15-year-old Standard Four pupil in Lamu County three days ago.
The ranger attached to the Kiunga KWS camp in Lamu East reportedly spent three days with the pupil in a forest within Kiunga and lied to police officers in the area that he had found her in the forest.
Upon interrogation, however, the girl said he repeatedly defiled her in the forest on all three days.
One of the girl's relatives told the Nation that shortly after learning the case had been reported, the man coerced the girl into eloping with him.
"Together with the mother, we took the girl all the way from Kiunga to Lamu Town to record a statement on Friday. That night, we booked a room in one of the hotels in Lamu Town. The mother and I left the girl in the room and went to the washroom,” the girl's aunt said.
“When we returned, we didn't find her. We later learnt that she made a secret arrangement with the officer to go into hiding.”
On Monday, Lamu County Police Commander Moses Muriithi said both the ranger and the girl were arrested.
"The ranger will be presented in court as soon as investigations are concluded and charges preferred," said Mr Murithi.
Ummulkheir Ahmed, a field officer at Lamu’s branch of Muslim for Human Rights (Muhuri), praised authorities for acting quickly and arresting one of their own in pursuit of justice for the girl.
"Security agencies are mandated to protect citizens so it is unfortunate that they are the same ones preying on ‘small’ girls. I am happy that despite being a security officer, the ranger has been arrested and will face prosecution," she said.
Ms Ahmed further expressed concern that cases of child defilement are on the rise in Lamu yet many go unreported.
She regretted that parents and communities have sunk deeper into the habit of sweeping defilement matters under the carpet.
"Many parents prefer out-of-court settlements and in most cases, a few coins given by the perpetrator are normally enough to buy the silence of the defiled child. I appeal to the society to avoid hiding or resolving child defilement cases at home. Let's report such matters to police for proper action."
Muhuri has also been educating residents of Lamu Old Town, Hindi, Mpeketoni, Witu, Kiunga and Faza on how to report cases of gender-based violence.