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Kenyans in Diaspora condemn 15 year jail term for woman who had sex with a boy

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News that a 24-year-old woman was on Wednesday jailed by a Kisumu court after she admitted that she had sex a 16-year-old boy, has riled a section of Kenyans in the Diaspora.

Judith Wandera was found guilty of defilement and intentionally performing indecent act on a minor contrary to Sexual Offences Act, on July 5, 2017 at Kicomi area.

READ THE STORY HERE: Kenyan woman slapped with a 15 year jail term for raping a 15 year old boy

The case has generated debate with many Kenyans, including senior lawyers, terming the sentence unfair in the circumstances.

Writing in various Kenyan Diaspora Facebook groups, many are questioning the rationale used at reaching the decision by Chief Magistrate JN Wambilyanga.

Most comments seen by ksnmedia.com appear to suggest that although the two had sex, it was consensual and there was no way for the woman to tell that the “man” was actually a minor.

Maggie Marikah Kwabena of Atlanta wrote: The word rape is being bandied around too loosely here.

John Kariuki wrote: The so called boy was a big man complete with dreadlocks. You would think he was older than the woman. What did you expect her to do? Ask for his ID.

Jacinta Kemunto wrote: Too harsh a sentence. These magistrates are so quick to punish people waliokuwa kwa raha zao yet it takes decades to jail maize smugglers and members of the various cartels. Give us a break.

Babiekk wrote: Who is complaining? The magistrate should look at merits and demerits carefully. Why waste the life of a woman whose only sin is to be seduced?

This was happening as a law firm, Dome and Kedogo Advocates, volunteered to appeal jail sentence pro bono (free of charge).

Wandera, who did not have a lawyer, did not present any witness during the case and instead, sought to prove that she never thought the boy was a minor since they met in a club in the Kondele slums where he offered to buy her alcohol and they started dating.

In her defence, she said looking at his physical appearance, the boy, a thread-locked boda boda rider, did not appear a minor. They had dated for one year before they were arrested on July 17 last year after the boy’s mother lodged a petition. She added he used to smoke bhang.

Ms Wandera, a single-mother of one, did not dispute the affair, a factor the magistrate took into account in sentencing her.

“Both admitted having sex, sometimes protected, sometimes unprotected. According to her, she could not tell how many times they did it,” said Ms Wambilyanga in her ruling.

However, critics have taken issue with the ruling, saying the magistrate failed to take into account provisions in the Sexual Offences Act, which allow for misleading physical appearances to be used as a defence by the accused and instead ruling she should have made effort to determine his age.

She added that the two were arrested twice and on those occasions asked to stop the relationship after the complainant’s mother raised the age-difference issue, but the woman ignored.

“The mother was not happy because the woman was older,” said the magistrate.

In her mitigation, Wandera asked for forgiveness, saying she has a son, a brother and her mother she was taking care of.

“I am the only person taking care of all of them. Please forgive me I will never repeat the offence,” she pleaded to no avail.

Among those who have questioned the ruling are lawyers Kamotho Waiganjo, Nelson Havi and Wahome Thuku. Those who reacted to their various positions challenged them to take up the issue on a pro bono basis.

 

Nelson-Havi Law firm to appeal Judith Wandera's 15-year jail termImplementation of the Sexual Offences Act, which was originated by then Nominated MP Njoki Ndung’u, now Supreme Court Judge, has been problematic as it sets a minimum jail term of 15 years giving little leeway to judges and magistrates to consider other circumstances.

Critics also three parallels with the 2016 ruling by Justice Said Chitembwe, which set free Martin Charo, 24, who had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old on the basis that crying was not enough evidence of defilement and that she “enjoyed it.”

Nelson-Havi Law firm to appeal Judith Wandera's 15-year jail term“Where the child behaves like an adult and willingly sneaks into men’s houses for purposes of having sex, the court ought to treat such a child as a grown up who knows what she is doing. She went to the appellant’s place to have sex. She had known the appellant for about three years. She dodged her brothers after going to the beach and sneaked into the appellant’s house,” he argued.

The ruling was awarded the Golden Bludgeon in Spain on Wednesday by Women’s Link Worldwide, beating 18 other cases to emerge the world’s worst ruling for women’s rights in 2016. The State appealed the ruling.

Others have, however, defended Wandera’s jail term, saying defilement of minors, especially, girls has become rampant with many being wooed by money and presents, including sanitary towels.

Business Today has conributed to this report

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Diaspora

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Atlanta based Kenyan woman in dire need of help

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BY CIRU GIKANGA

I am reaching out to all of you because I urgently need your help. In the many years we’ve not seen each other the Rheumatoid Arthritis has taken over and deformed most of my joints. I have put up this video to explain what help I need and why. Please watch to the end.

Here’s the brief part that sounds off in the beginning: “My name is Christine Ciru Gikanga and l have have been suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis for 29 yrs going to clock 30 yrs in September 2018, having been diagnosed back in 1988 while in my 2nd yr in high school. Here is the GOFUNDME LINK

Watch the video below:

Attached are the pictures showing the progression of the disease: 1st picture was taken in 1999:

 

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Africa

US warns Kenyans over fake marriages, says they won’t be allowed to fly out

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The US embassy in Nairobi on Monday issued a warning to Kenyans getting duped into fake marriages to acquire a visa.

Through their official social media pages, the embassy advised caution in the event somebody offers to get you a green card using dubious means.

“Has anyone ever told you they can get a green card for you? Don’t believe them! They are lying and just trying to steal your money. Don’t believe them when they say you can have a fake marriage and still get your green card.

“If you apply with a fake marriage, you will get caught and you will not get your green card. You will become permanently ineligible to ever go to the United States, and you will never be able to get a U.S. visa or a green card,” the embassy warned.

Visa denied FILE/PHOTO

Kenyans were further urged to apply for a visa or the green card lottery by themselves.

The statement conveyed: “You don’t need to use a fixer to apply for the diversity visa or green card lottery. You can do it yourself and pay the required fee.”

The embassy stated that one should only apply through the Embassy’s official website.

“If you know about anyone promising they can get a green card for you if you enter into a fake marriage, go to the police and report them. You should also report them to the U.S. Embassy,” the statement concluded.

Earlier last week, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec announced that the United States government was gearing up to fight fake news in Kenya adding that it had eroded confidence in Kenya’s real news media.

Speaking during an interview, Godec stated: “Fake news is being weaponized. It’s undermining democracy in Kenya.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta with US Secretary of Transport Anthony Foxx (C) and Ambassador Robert Godec when he led a US business delegation to State House, Nairobi on June 25, 2015. PHOTO | PSCU

He further remarked: “We’re not asking them to believe any particular thing. We’re just urging people not to take everything they see on their phone via WhatsApp as the truth because it may not be.”

Source -Kenyans.co.ke

 

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Business

Kenyan women in US gather in Atlanta this weekend for third KWITU reunion

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KWITU, a group of Kenyan women living in the USA are in Atlanta starting August 2nd to August 4th for the 3rd Annual Grand Reunion. The reunion is the largest gathering of Kenyan Women Living in the USA.

The theme this year is; “Unity and Integrity among the Kenyans Living in the Diaspora.” The line up and details of the three-day event are as follows:

August 2nd Karibu Night: ‪Thursday the 2nd of August will be “Karibu Night”.

Guests will have a meet and greet in a lounge, to welcome all who will be arriving from all corners of the USA and Canada! Karibu Night will be at: La Pura Vida 1995 Windy Hill Road Smyrna GA 30080

Networking & Panel Sessions:

Friday the 3rd, will be the networking and panel sessions.

There will be a keynote speaker and panels of speakers. Discussions will include issues affecting our Kenyan Community here in the USA, among others.

Hors D’oeuvres will be served on Friday. The topics of discussion on Friday includes:

1. Single Parenthood

2. Drug Addiction

3. Mental illness & Suicide

4. Domestic Violence

5. Access to education

6. Women in Business August

4th – Grand Gala: Saturday will be the Grand Gala event. There will be entertainment, a three-course dinner, keynote speaker and various presentations. KWITU – Women uplifting one another!

According to the group’s mission statement posted on its website, KWITU aims to provide Kenyan women in the USA the sense of empowerment and see them soar to the heights of success. “As an organization, we aim to eradicate the factors holding back Kenyan women. By alleviating their difficulties, it’s possible to make Kenyan women realize the true potential that lies within them,” adds the statement.

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