What you need to know:
- A teacher at Nyajanja Mixed Secondary School in Kochia in Rangwe, went into hiding after learners at the school threatened to go on rampage, accusing him of sexual assault.
- Preliminary investigation revealed that he would send them love messages on the phone, to lure them into his trap.
Police are pursuing a teacher accused of defiling students in Homa Bay County.
The teacher, a board employee at Nyajanja Mixed Secondary School in Kochia in Rangwe, went into hiding after learners threatened to go on the rampage after six of them complained that he had defiled them.
The alleged perpetrator is reported to have been violating the girls for some time before the matter became public. One of the girls is pregnant.
Preliminary investigation revealed that he would send them love messages on the phone, to lure them into his trap. He would then defile the girls at a pit latrine within the institution.
A police report said he had carnal knowledge with five female students at the boarding section.
A few teaching staff soon got wind of the matter and reported to the local administration, prompting investigations. Police officers visited the school on February 12, where the survivors narrated their ordeal.
All the girls who confessed to having been defiled were taken for medical examination where one was confirmed pregnant.
Government officials from Rangwe led by Deputy County Commissioner Alfet Jillo and Sub-county Education Director Robert Nyaberi then visited the school.
Rangwe MP Lilian Gogo was also present. The lawmaker described the incident as unfortunate, and called on school girls to report such cases.
"We must protect our girls from all forms of violence. We need to stop all vices that dilute the future of girls in Rangwe," she said.
The case is among thousands that affect teenagers in Homa Bay County.
The 2022 Kenya Demographic Health survey says the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in the county stands at 23 per cent. Meanwhile, 13 per cent of women aged between 15 to 49 years have experienced different forms of sexual violence.
Dr Gogo said community members should be sensitised to the need to protect teenage girls.
"We have had several cases of defilement in Kochia alone, and one led to death. What saddens me is that it is getting into schools," the legislator said.
She challenged her constituents to protect teenage girls saying gender-based violence, HIV/Aids and teenage pregnancies are among issues derailing development in Homa Bay.
"We need to have a conversation about this menace. Teenagers should also concentrate on their studies and report anyone making sexual advances at them," Dr Gogo said.
Ms Jillo said security officers from Rangwe Police Station are investigating the case. The administrator noted that Kochia Ward leads in reported cases of teenage pregnancies.
"We want to make it known that it will not be business as usual. Perpetrators will be apprehended because we have enlightened girls to stand up for their rights," the administrator said.
Mr Nyaberi said the Ministry of Education regulations governing teaching in Kenya, including the TSC Act and teachers’ code of regulations, demand that teachers conduct themselves above board because they are role models and should show good example learners.
"Being charged with the responsibility of taking care of learners does not mean you take advantage of their young minds as well. It is a warning to all teachers that whoever will be found doing the same will face the law," Mr Nyaberi said while appealing to teachers to observe professional ethics and code of conduct for teaching.