Chief from hell: Family cries for justice against preying administrator

The 16-year-old revealed how the administrator would sexually harass her whenever she walked home from school and even threatened her when she turned him down.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

Asha Malika (not her real name) is due to deliver in three months, but each day of her life is a painful nightmare wrapped in depression and tears.

The 16-year-old should be in school but six months ago, an assistant chief defiled her and she ended up pregnant, dashing all her hopes of continuing with her education.

The girl did not know how to explain her misfortune to her parents, hence kept it to herself until it no longer could become a secret.

"She was pale and gloomy and her belly was protruding while her physique was changing so fast and I knew she was pregnant and demanded to know who was responsible," her mother says in an interview.

The innocent girl opened up to her mother, narrating how the assistant chief had been defiling her repeatedly.

She revealed how the administrator would sexually harass her whenever she came from school and even threatened her when she turned down his advances.

"So she told me how the chief one day dragged her into the bush and defiled her, helped her clean up, and how from that day, he made it a habit to drag her to the same spot to repeat the same," says the mother.

The girl revealed to her mother how the chief would buy her silence with sometimes Sh500 and at times Sh200, and kept dragging her to the same spot in the bush to defile her whenever he wanted.

After months of abusing her, she noticed changes in her body and informed the assistant chief who dismissed her with threats.

Having learned that the situation was dire, the assistant chief ran to the local police post and informed officers there of an alleged political plot to oust him from his administrative position and that the girl was being used in the plot.

"We were summoned by the police to the station where my daughter was interrogated, and she repeated the same story to the police, that the assistant chief was responsible for the pregnancy. She narrated all the events that led to the pregnancy without flinching," said the parent.

The police called the area chief who also gave his side of the story.

However, instead of recording the statement, the police started arguing about the girl's age, claiming she was an adult and had an affair with the assistant chief.

They sent the family home to obtain the birth certificate before they could write her statement.

"I gave birth to my daughter at home, and it would take us some time, at least two months to get a birth certificate. I feel it is a plot to deny us justice and this will not be the first case in this village," the woman says.

The assistant chief who is a close relative of a legislator in the county has since been threatening the family.

His colleagues who sought anonymity said that it is not the first case of defilement the assistant chief is accused of that he has gotten away with by bribing authorities and intimidating victims.

Residents note that it has been a habit of the chest-thumping assistant chief to defile school children.

"His two wives were his victims, this is not an isolated case, it is a habit that people around here know about but he gets protected by local authorities every time he does this," claims Omar Hamisi, a gender activist.

According to Mr Hamisi, the assistant chief is fond of using money to negotiate his way out of such cases, leaving most of his victims in a difficult situation.

"He has since reached out to the girl's stepfather to bribe him from pushing forward with the case and what saddens us is that the office of the county commissioner is aware of this matter but has not acted," he said.

Reached for comment, Tana River police boss Richard Ng'eno noted that the matter has not gotten to his attention, but assured he would follow up and give proper feedback later.

Tana River County Commissioner Thomas Sankei however, did not respond to the issues raised by the time of filing this story despite efforts to reach him on call and through text message.