The family of 11-year-old Jasmine Njoki, who was defiled and killed before her body was dumped in a thicket at Kasambara village in Gilgil, Nakuru County, is seeking justice.
Njoki was who was a Grade Six student at Nakuru Roots Academy, where she was a pupil was murdered on September 19th at around 5 pm as she was heading home from school.
Njoki’s mother Trizah Wangari in her tribute, said that her daughter and friend were taken from her too soon and imagining a life without her vibrant self was impossible even to imagine and she was sure that life would be difficult without her.
“I will miss every moment we shared together. She was a vibrant girl who was humble and obedient. I can not imagine life without my daughter,” she said
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika called on the government to return the death sentence, including hanging for criminals who commit some of these serious offenses.
“I cannot believe a normal human being can do such a thing. I know that the death sentence is unconstitutional, but the government should consider reviewing that decision to ensure people who committed this kind of offenses are hanged.” the governor said.
Ms. Kihika called the police to speed up investigations and arrest anyone who may have been involved in the killing.
The police have arrested one suspect. Let them interrogate him properly so he can reveal his accomplices,” the governor said.
She called on residents who may know the assailants to reveal them and warned the parents whose children were responsible for the offense against hiding them.
“If parents are hiding their children knowing they did such an act, then it is very wrong. They should report them to the police,” she said.
DEFILEMENT IN THE CONSTITUTION.
Defilement is any sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 18 years old, whether or not the child consents.
It is a crime under the Sexual Offences Act, of 2006 as it is a breach of children’s human rights under the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
The penalty for defilement varies depending on the child’s age. If the child is 11 years or less, a person convicted will be sentenced to life imprisonment. If the child’s age ranges from 12 to 15, the sentence is a minimum of 20 years. And if the child is 16 or 17 years old, a minimum of 15 years.
It is a defense to the charge of defilement if the child deceives the accused about their age or the accused reasonably believes the child is over the age of 18, provided such a person takes steps to ascertain the child’s age. But that the child gave consent can never be a defense.
Causing friction to this law is teenage marriages, most African communities don’t see a problem with marrying off minors from the age of 12-14 years this causes them to come into conflict with the law. and many times teenagers consent and fully appreciate the nature of their actions. This has particularly been an issue where both parties are minors. For long, the male child would be held criminally liable, whereas the female child would go scot-free. In recent times, however, this way of dispensing such cases has been criticized as discriminatory against the boy child. As such, the courts have leaned towards exercising restraint in sentencing minors in instances where a minor was sexually engaged with another minor.
CASES OF DEFILEMENT IN KENYA.
July 2023 a woman faced murder charges of a man who defiled her 2-year-old daughter. The woman, only identified as Cheptoo, had confessed to killing the alleged pedophile over a phone call.
Busia man who defiled a six-year-old girl escaped life imprisonment after a judge relied on the Muruatetu decision and instead imposed a 40-year sentence against him. Erick Maina Mbulele had been sentenced under section 8(1)(2) of the Sexual Offences Act, No 3 of 2006, which attracts, upon conviction, a penalty of mandatory life imprisonment. The trial court imposed the sentence, on August 22, 2011. His appeals, to the High Court and Court of Appeal, against the conviction and sentence, were not successful.
EFFECTS OF DEFILEMENT.
Defilement is traumatic and often associated with psychosocial problems in children, parental distress, and significant social strain on family relationships and well-being. Defilement is a debilitating experience for victimized children with negative psychological, social, educational, and physical health outcomes that are not only detrimental to the affected child but also to their families and society at large.
There is hardly any day that passes by without one getting unpleasant news of child defilement, especially against the girl-child. The truth is that child defilement has assumed frightening proportions that deserve urgent attention and is worth discussing.
Defiled children, more often than not, have negative outcomes in terms of poor academic performance, low self-esteem, depression, and poor social relationships; they show cruelty to animals, have attention deficit, hyperactivity disorders, and teenage pregnancy, among others.
Sexual abuse can happen to children of any race, socioeconomic group, religion, or culture. There is no foolproof way to protect children from sexual abuse, but there are steps you can take to reduce this risk. If something happens to your child, remember that the perpetrator is to blame not you and especially not the child.