Outrage over surge in sodomy in Central region

Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Management and Control Committee chairman Joseph Kaguthi.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Management and Control Committee chairman Joseph Kaguthi blames cases on substance abuse.
  • Police have blamed the problem on "reckless alcoholism", drug abuse and a desire to exercise raw cruelty by some young men.
  • Governor Wa Iria says blames acts on demonic influence, while Bishop Nyutu says they are a pointer to the “end times".

The Central region has been hit by a wave of sexual violence targeting men and security agents.

Residents have been urged to treat it as a regional tragedy.

Police records indicate that about 10 cases of men being sodomised are reported daily in Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang'a, Kiambu and Nyandarua counties, with many others unreported because of the fear of stigma, which condemn victims to suffering in silence.

Police have blamed the problem on "reckless alcoholism", drug abuse and a desire to exercise "raw cruelty" by some young men.

Outgoing regional commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga says the incidents have a pattern.

"Most of the 10 daily victims on average are attacked while drunk and walking home or asleep in ditches and bushes at odd hours," he said.

Mr Nyagwanga added that arrested suspects are drug addicts, hence if the war on alcoholic drinks' trade was intensified, the cases would go down.

'Demonic influence'

But Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria says the acts are a result of demonic influence, while the chairman of the Protestant Faith's Union, Bishop Edward Nyutu, says they are a pointer to the “end times".

In Murang'a South, three cases of men being sexually assaulted were reported on Christmas Day, preceded by a case in Kigumo sub-county where a 50-year-old man was a victim.

Kigumo sub-county police boss Jane Nyakeruma said two of the four suspects were arrested.

“It was a horrible incident and our investigations have depicted that many are indeed suffering in silence. Many victims have shied away from reporting to us about their predicament.

"But the official position of the police remains that it is a crime to execute any form of sexual assault…We are investigating the incidents and profiling where they are rampant,” she said.

Campaign hurdles

Records by the Central Region Security Committee indicate that on average, 10 males are sodomised in the area on a daily basis, besides many others go unreported.

“The search for justice and effective fight against the vice is hindered by several factors, key among them many victims refusing to have their cases prosecuted citing shameful public disclosures that would lead to stigmatisation,” said Kibugi wa Ihii Foundation CEO Joseph Kibugi.

The foundation advocates the welfare of the boy in the region.

Nyandarua County Alcoholic Drinks Management and Control Committee chairman Joseph Kaguthi told Nation.Africa cases of males being sexually assaulted surging in the Central region are due to substance abuse.

“The perpetrators of the heinous acts are mostly under the influence of drug abuse…Some of the victims have ascertained that they walked into the abuse consensually to get money to buy drugs and alcohol, as well as for gambling.

“They end up damaged and hospitalised while many retreat to their privacy to heal without making formal reports. We have a serious crisis and society must rise up and fight drugs, impunity of drug and alcohol dealers, as well as hopelessness that leads humans to scheme evil,” he said.

Mr Kaguthi concurred with Kibugi wa Ihii Foundation that many men have silently died and been buried after succumbing to the abuse, terming it a crisis that needs urgent redress.

Dehumanising

For his part, Kikuyu Council of Elders chairman Wachira Kiago described the crisis as “horrific taboo that must be confronted and dealt with from all fronts”.

He said some cases involve young boys being recruited into homosexuality or being abused by an evil group.

Mr Nyagwanga says the cases have become a matter of great concern in the region. He said security teams in the region have been ordered to crack down on all illicit brew dens that have become hotspots for the dehumanising violence, as well as bars that sell low end alcoholic drinks past the regulated 11pm time limit.

“It is while the drunkards are walking home that they are encountering this evil in the dark village paths. Some of the profiled incidents were executed by males riding bodabodas…We must ensure bars close uniformly so that alcoholics can walk home on the full watch of patrol police and neighbours. This issue of some bars closing past midnight must stop,” he said.

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