Taita Taveta Women beg county to curb rising rape cases

The women cited Mgange-Wesu road, which passes through Iyale Forest, as the worst hit by the rape cases.

Photo: Courtesy

Angry women have held a meeting with County Commissioner Rodah Onyancha over increased rape and murder of victims.

The women from Mgange and Mwanda locations alleged that a gang of rapists had been targeting elderly women and schoolgirls.
“The suspects, who are always hooded, waylay helpless women and young girls along footpaths while collecting firewood or taking milk early in the morning,” Agnes Mwalegha told Ms Onyancha.
Ms Mwalegha told the meeting the gang had also been raiding homes at night, especially those of widows.

“The gang has instilled fear among residents and we are calling on the Government to protect us. It (gang) is targeting helpless women and young girls,” Ms Mwalaghe told the public baraza addressed by the county commissioner at Mnyale village in Mgange location yesterday.

The women cited Mgange-Wesu road, which passes through Iyale Forest, as the worst hit by the rape cases.
“There have been numerous cases of rape and killings of women in the area. We have given the police a list of 10 suspects to help arrest the gang,” said another woman, who only identified herself as Violet.

Cases of rape

According to statistics given by the police, seven cases of rape and murder involving women and school-going girls were reported recently.

Ms Onyancha said the Government would do everything possible to address the problem.
“We will devise new ways of dealing with the problem. We have female police officers we can use to effectively deal with the rapists,” she assured the women.

The commissioner, however, blamed men in the region for failing to protect their wives and children from the rapists.

“This is a community where men don’t protect their families from sexual harassment,” Onyancha told the meeting, amid applause from the women.

“How do you feel as a man when your wife or daughter is raped in the forest? If the rapists are men worth their salt, let them try me and they will see fire. I’m a strong woman from Kisii land who has eaten enough cassava,” said the official.

Onyancha said widespread sale and consumption of illicit brew was to blame for rising cases of rape, defilement and general crime locally.

She, at the same time, warned men against solving sexual abuse cases at home. “How do you accept a goat to resolve a case where your wife or daughter has been sexually abused? Men should protect their families from such criminals instead of engaging in alcoholism,” said the administrator.

A woman was recently raped and killed in Lushangonyi in Taita sub-county.
Last year, a Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidate was defiled and killed at the neighbouring Choke village. However, angry villagers killed the defiler and later set his body on fire.

Police and villagers have said a body of a Msorongo Primary School girl was recently found dumped with serious deep cuts on her head.

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