As the entire world observes UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of 16 Day of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, we are tragically yet again reminded that the right to life is a basic human right that is often violated.
A 4-year-old girl Anita Osebe Moi was robbed of this extremely important human right. She will never grow up to fulfill her dreams and actualize her full potential because she is no more.
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We are extremely appalled and in the strongest terms possible condemn the rape that led to the subsequent murder of 4-year-old Osebe. This deeply disturbing, cruel, inhuman and gruesome incident took place at Iringa village, Tabaka Ward, Kisii County, Kenya on 8 October 2014.
The cause of Osebe’s death was revealed by results of a postmortem done at Tabaka Mission Hospital on 30 October 2014 confirming that she died from acute heart failure as a result of defilement and sodomy. Osebe was laid to rest at her parents’ home in Iringa village on Friday October 31st 2014. The defilement and subsequent murder of Osebe MUST be vehemently condemned by ALL Kenyans and world citizens of goodwill.
We also condemn what the family of Osebe and community members are noting as a slow response by the local law enforcement systems to thoroughly investigate and apprehend the known suspect when he emerged as a suspect in this matter before he went into hiding. Given the gravity of the offense, the suspect is a serious threat to public safety and particularly so to children.
The suspect must be apprehended as soon as possible to help ease community tensions and the deep sense of insecurity and vulnerability that prevails within the Iringa and Tabaka Ward community at large. Life in Iringa village is not the same. There is great fear particularly amongst children that what happened to Osebe could happen to them. WE WANT JUSTICE AND WE WANT IT NOW!
This case is just one in thousands that highlights the challenges and difficulties survivors of sexual violence in Kenya face daily. The rampant defilement of minors particularly girls in Kenya coupled with a very low prosecution rate when cases are reported is deeply disturbing and a fact that led to the ‘Equality Effect’ 160 Girls project in Eastern Kenya that revealed that every 30 minutes, a girl or woman is raped in Kenya and that there is a high prevalence of sexual violence against children in “the whole country.”
Kenya must uphold the rights of all its citizens and protect women and girls from sexual violence, in line with the 2010 Constitution, the Sexual Offenses Act, the Penal Code, and its obligations under regional and international human rights instruments. Kenya has ratified a number of international and regional human rights instruments that affirm the State’s responsibility to protect women and girls from sexual violence, including the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Protocol), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Protocol obliges member states to “adopt and implement appropriate measures to ensure the protection of every woman’s right to respect for her dignity and protection of women from all forms of violence, particularly sexual and verbal violence” and to “ensure the prevention, punishment and eradication of all forms of violence against women.” Furthermore, the Protocol requires that Kenya establish “mechanisms and accessible services for effective information, rehabilitation and reparation for victims” and direct adequate State resources towards the implementation and monitoring of preventative action.
Tragically, the 2006 Sexual Offences Act’s “effectiveness has been marred by poor enforcement due to failure of the police to investigate complaints of sexual violence or arrest the perpetrators.” Much more must be done to protect Kenya’s women and girls from sexual violence and to ensure timely access to justice for all survivors.
It is unfortunate that several weeks after the murder of Osebe we must be moved to call upon our leaders to take action, knowing that they have the mandate and the power to ensure a swift professional investigation, subsequent apprehension and prosecution of the individual that committed this grossly abhorrent act that so brutally took Osebe’s life.
Our leaders’ immediate response to this call to action will not only demonstrate to Osebe’s family but the entire country and indeed the world that Kenya and Kisii County in particular are serious about addressing the prevalent issue of violence against girls and women.
Please join us in signing this petition to call upon the following Kenyan government officials to ensure a swift and thorough investigation into the gruesome defilement and subsequent murder of Anita Osebe Moi leading to the capture and prosecution of the individual that committed this heinous act. Furthermore, call on these officials to urgently ensure the realization of the Kenyan government’s obligation to prevent and eradicate sexual violence, while ensuring justice for all survivors.
– Hon. Dr. Willy Mutunga, Chief Justice and Head of the National Council for the Administration of Justice (NCAJ) – [email protected] @WMutunga
– Keriako Tobiko, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) [email protected] @ODPP_KE
– Hon. Winfred Lichuma, Chairperson, National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) – [email protected] ngeckenya.org
– H. E. William Ruto, Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya [email protected], @WilliamsRuto
– Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution & Planning [email protected], @AnneWaiguru
We cannot continue to lose girls or any child for that matter as a result of sexual violence. This MUST STOP NOW! We call upon all Kenyans and world citizens of goodwill to stand with Osebe’s family at this very difficult time of great loss and grief by signing this petition demanding that the Kenyan government apprehends the known suspect as a matter of urgency and ensures that justice is served.
Thank you so much for your support and may justice be served!
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– The Tabaka Ward ‘Uongozi Wa Utu Project’ – FEMNET (The African Women’s Development and Communications Network) – Young Women Leaders Institute (YWLI) – Njagi and Nyaboke Advocates’ (Jane Nyaboke Matoke, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya) – Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW) – Africa UNiTE Kenya Chapter – Equality Now.
– H. E. Uhuru Kenyatta C.G.H. President and Commander in Chief of The Defence Forces of The Republic of Kenya – @UKenyatta [email protected]
– Office of the First Lady, State House – [email protected], @FirstLadyKenyaHon
– Hon. David Kimaiyo, Inspector General of the Kenya Police [email protected], [email protected] @IGKimaiyo; @PoliceKE
– Hon. Prof. Githu Muigai, Attorney General, [email protected]
– Hon. Joseph Ole Lenku, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Interior & Coordination of – National Government, [email protected]
– Jacinta Nyamosi, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions – @ODPP_KE
– H.E. James Ongwae, Governor Kisii County – [email protected], @JamesOngwae
– H.E. Joash Maangi, Deputy Governor Kisii County [email protected]
– Commissioner Chege Mwangi, Kisii County Commissioner
– Commander Moses Kanyi, OCPD, Gucha South Sub County
– Jane Mbera, Area Chief, Iringa Sub –location, Tabaka Ward
– Hon. Josephine Ombati, Chairperson Kisii County Assembly Women’s Caucus
– Hon. Mary Otara, Kisii County Women’s Representative
– Hon. Daniel Ombasa Apepo, Minority Leader Kisii County & MCA, Tabaka Ward
– Hon. Manson Nyamweya, South Mugirango Member of Parliament
– Hon. Janet Ong’era, Senator Kisii County
– Hon. Chris Obure, Senator Kisii County
– Commissioner Kagwiria Mbogori, Chairperson, Kenya National Commission for Human Rights – [email protected]; [email protected]
– Patricia Nyaundi, Secretary to the Commission, Kenya National Commission for Human Rights – [email protected]; [email protected]
– Prof. Rose Odhiambo, HSC, CEO/Commission Secretary, National Gender and Equality Commission- [email protected] ngeckenya.org
– Hon. Cecily Mbarire, Chairperson, Kenya Women Parliamentary Association,[email protected]
– Chairman of the Council of Governors, [email protected]