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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

E-passport centres launched in six countries to serve diaspora

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The government has launched e-passport centres in six countries to serve Kenyans in the diaspora.

Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma  said the service will initially be available in Kenyan embassies in Pretoria, London, Paris, Dubai, Washington and Beijing before being expanded to other countries.

“We mounted the e-passport infrastructure last week. Kenyans are encouraged to get in touch with the missions for modalities of this process,” she said on Friday.

The launch of the centres means that Kenyans living abroad will no longer have to travel back home to apply.

Presidential directive

Run by the Immigration department, portals will be available on each Kenyan mission’s website, directing applicants on the procedure to follow.

Kenyans in diaspora had complained of lack of service despite a directive by President Kenyatta that the passports be issued in their countries of residence.

The foreign ministry said the Immigration department had been setting up the tools required for deployment of personnel.

Initially, embassies had required Kenyans to register their presence on the portals to help provide the numbers and influence decision on setting up centres.

Immigration service

The Immigration department had said it would start with North America, the Middle East and South Africa before moving to other regions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages diplomatic missions abroad but issuance of passports is a responsibility of the Immigration department. This means the department will have to send attaches to the embassies to provide the services.

While in Namibia in March, President Kenyatta directed that Kenyans living abroad be issued with the new generation passports in their countries of residence.

source:Daily Nation

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Kenyan MP wanted by US authorities for escaping jail term over tax evasion

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A Member of Parliament who is serving his first term is a wanted man in the US.

Nation has established that Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman Mohamed is on the radar of US authorities over a crime he was sentenced for in 2015.

US media reported that in 2015, the lawmaker was sentenced to 18 months in jail over tax evasion.

He had been charged with 32 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false tax returns totaling Ksh61 million.

According to reports, the Criminal Investigation Unit of the US Internal Revenue Service, conducted three undercover operations to catch the MP red-handed.

Planted spies posed as clients who wanted to consult Mohamed and have him prepare their Federal Income Tax Returns for 2007.

He prepared the documents but for each of the spies he was consulting for, he falsely reduced the tax due, resulting in fraudulent tax returns.

After he was arrested, Mohammed entered into a plea bargain with the prosecutors and implicated his accomplice, Yahya Sheikh, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Nation also established that due to fear being arrested, the MP turned down an opportunity to travel to the US with the National Assembly Energy Committee in April 2019.

The daily’s efforts at reaching the legislator were futile as he was said to be in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland attending some national celebrations.

Fafi MP Abdikarim Osman Mohamed speaking during a forum in Garissa County on 09/02/19

SOURCE-Kenyans.co.ke

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VIDEO: Amb Githae cautions Kenyans in US against DUI, domestic violence

The Kenyan ambassador to the United States, Robinson Njeru Githae, has cautioned Kenyans living in the United States against breaking the laws of the host country.

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Mr Githae singled out Driving Under the influence (DUI) which he said was common among some Kenyans in US cities.

“Refrain from drunk driving which is becoming prevalent in Kenyan communities in different cities ….Hapa mkono wa sheria ukikupata umekupata (the arm of the law here is very effective),” he said recently when he addressed attendees of this year’s Atlanta Majuu Cultural festival held in Atlanta, Georgia.

He also warned against domestic violence noting that such acts are taken very seriously by law enforcers in the US.

“Don’t touch your spouse. If you must do it, touch her or him with love,” said Githae.

“Whatever you do, don’t break the laws of your host country. Ni vizuri kuacha tabia zingine (let us discard some of these habits)” he added.

In recent years, cases of Kenyans who have been arrested for DUI which have sometimes led to the discovery of other previous crimes and misdemeanors have been on the rise, at a time when the the US Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency has stepped up its enforcement and eventual deportations.

For drivers 21 years or older in most US States, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher is illegal. For drivers under 21 years old, the legal limit is lower, with state limits ranging from 0.00 to 0.02.

Lower BAC limits apply when operating boats, airplanes, or commercial vehicles. Among other names, the criminal offense of drunk driving may be called DUI, driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI), operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI), or operating while impaired (OWI).

The penalties for drunk driving vary among states and jurisdictions. It is not uncommon for the penalties to be different from county to county within any given state depending on the practices of the individual jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions require jail time and larger fines, even on a first offense.

For instance, Ohio requires a mandatory 72-hour jail sentence for a first offense conviction; however, the jail time component is satisfied by attendance of the Ohio A.W.A.R.E. Program, which is a 72-hour alcohol-education program.

For the most part, DUI or DWI are synonymous terms that represent the criminal offense of operating (or in some jurisdictions merely being in physical control of) a motor vehicle while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both.

There have also been instances where spouses have engaged in domestic violence with most of them ending up in jail or even facing deportation.

Githae commended the organisers of the festival, led by Rev Dr GG Gitahi of Kenyan American Community Church.

Thousands of people, including renowned Kenyan gospel artistes, graced the annual event which – for the first time in the five years it has been running -was held at the Cobb County Civic Center in the heart of Marietta, Georgia.

The envoy, who has since been named as the new ambassador to Austria, promised to help make the event bigger and better.

“This is very impressive and we should not stop here. We are going to make sure that other communities in the US participate next year,” he said.

Enjoy the photos courtesy of David King’ang’i of DKK Photography:

 

 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DKK PHOTOGRAPHY

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