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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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Africa

‘Please help me return home,’ Kenyan legend runner living in the US pleads

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyan distance running legend Henry Rono a broken man. He has been living in the United States of America for the last 32 years, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Rono who is now 66, on Tuesday reached out to Nation Sport and sent a passionate appeal:

“I wants a ticket back home, please.”

“Yes, I would like the government to help me get back home by getting me a ticket… I can’t afford living in the USA. I’m getting old… Also, being away from home for over 32 years is too long,” added the legend.

The legend is currently a security guard at the Albuquerque airport.

“Yes, I did retire, but these other jobs are stressful and I’m too old,” he said. “Like now, I’m sick from working hard. Many of my fellow Kenyans are dying from stressful hard working jobs,” said Rono, who was given a lifetime achievement award by the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2008.

“I have been given another award in Belgrade but I’m able to attend because of stressful work. Like now, I’m in the bed and I’m unwell.”

But Rono’s daughter Maureen confirmed she had spoken to the legend, and that he has been unwell since last week. “He has been coughing for the last week, and I’ve been in touch with him. If he asked you to send out an appeal for help, you can go ahead and publish,” she said.

Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, meanwhile, said his association would be ready to help the legend.

“He did a lot for this country and we can’t fail to get help for him,” said Tuwei. “We need information such as costs of tickets, who he could be travelling with and other details, and then see how we can support.”

The Washington State University star alumnus had taken up coaching after his running career, this after alcoholism dented the highlight years of his spell that saw him shatter world records in the 3,000 metres (seven minutes, 32.1 seconds), 5,000 metres (13:08.4), 3,000 metres steeplechase (8:05.04) and 10,000 metres (27:22.47), all within 81 days across USA (California and Seattle) and Europe (Vienna and Oslo).

Source: nation.co.ke

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Diaspora

Shock as 25 year old Kenyan man passes away suddenly in US

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It is with humble acceptance  of God’s will that we announce the sudden death of Martin Muchene (popularly known as Gushi), which occurred on Tuesday January 15, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the son of Mr. Paul and Deaconess Grace Muchene, and brother of Dennis Muchene, all of Baltimore, Maryland.

He was the grandson of Mr Joseph Muchene (popularly known as Babu)and the late Mrs. Hannah Wacheke Muchene of Waithaka, Dagoretti, Kenya; and grandson of Mr. David Kavusyu Munyoki and Mrs. Janet Kavusyu of Kitui, Kenya.

He was the nephew of Lucy Wanjiru, Mary Wangari, Peter Muhia, Sammy Kavusyu, Titus Kavusyu, and Mary Kimanzi. He was a cousin to many.

Friends and family will meet at 6pm daily for prayers & financial assistance at the Muchene’s residence: 2910 Rosalie Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21234.

On Friday Jan 18 and Saturday Jan 19 ONLY, prayers will be held at: Faith & Grace Worship Center, 10012 Harford Rd. Parkville MD 21234.

After Saturday 19th, prayers will continue to be held daily at the Muchene’s residence.

Further information about burial arrangements will be communicated later.

Cashapp donations can be sent to:
Dennis Wairia : 443-676-4668 – $DENNISWAIRIA
David Kimari: 443-326-1759 – $DavidKimari
Eva Kamau: 443-912-7033 – $EvaWangari

For more information please contact:

Dr. Rev Paul Mukundi: 443-554-4235
Pastor Samson Onzare: 443-824-4050
Pastor Mugwe: 410-236-5401
Karanja Mwaura: 410-409-9340
Melina Obare: 302-401-8412
Muthoni Mbatiah: 972-800-0342
John Mwaniki (Asante Auto): 443-858-4617
Abby Karanja: 404-542-5099
Racheal Liyayi: 443-570-3226

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Africa

American who survived 9/11 dies in Riverside attack

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An American who survived the 9/11 terror attack is among those who were killed in Tuesday’s terror attack at Nairobi’s 14 Riverside Drive.

Jason Spindler’s mother Sarah Sandler told NBC News that her son “was trying to make positive change in the third world in emerging markets.”

Jason’s brother, Jonathan, also confirmed the family’s tragic loss via Facebook.

“It is with a heavy heart that I have to report that my brother, Jason Spindler passed away this morning during a terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya. Jason was a survivor of 9-11 and a fighter. I am sure he gave them hell!” Jonathan’s post read.

HAVING LUNCH

The US State department confirmed that an American citizen was killed in the Tuesday attack.

Spindler, who was the CEO and Global Managing Director of I-DEV International, was, according to colleagues, having lunch at the Dusit Hotel when the attack happened.

I-DEV is based at Metta, a space for entrepreneurs that is located at the 14 Riverside office complex in the Belgravia building’s sixth floor.

The Metta Africa Head of Community, memberships and operations Essie Mwikali said there were 45 people at the space when the attack happened and accounted for everyone and confirmed the death of Spindler.

Nailab CEO Sam Gichuru eulogized Spindler as “a strong supporter of the Kenyan Tech Ecosystem.”

By Agencies

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