National administration officers must not condone sexual abuse and traditional compensation but ensure rapists are tried in court, Interior PS Karanja Kibicho has said.
He commented on Wednesday following reports that a chief in Vihiga county attended an elders’ meeting in which a 78-year-old man was fined just Sh17,000 and a cow for raping his six-year-old granddaughter.
“You are encouraging brutality by passing such verdicts. Who gave you such powers? Don’t wait until I come for you, just come to the headquarters,” Kibicho said.
He was addressing chiefs and assistants chiefs at Mbale Boys’ High School in Vihiga. Kibicho warned that he would personally punish any chief who takes part in local meetings involving sexual abuse cases.
“There is a big conflict in execution of the law. Defilement cases cannot be negotiated at a chief’s baraza. Let me not hear that a chief has engaged in such,” he said.
On October 10, the parents of the six-year-old girl reported to Izava North chief Zachary Mwangala that their daughter had been defiled by her grandfather.
The chief told the Star that elders usually make judgments in such cases to avoid embarrassing the community.
Kibicho learnt of the case at a press briefing at the county headquarters just before he addressed the chiefs.
He said the chief should report to the headquarters in one week to show cause.
The girl’s parents have said justice was not served by handing out a cow and Sh17,000.