Who molested Moi Girls' student? Union challenges rape claims

Women from Kibera demonstrate in Nairobi over the rape case in Moi girls Nairobi. [Beverlyne Musili/Standard]

Moi Girls High School rape case has taken a new twist with reports that the victim might have been assaulted by lesbian colleagues.

An internal investigation and another one by a teachers union found inconsistencies in reports about the incident.

An independent investigation by Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has raised questions about the version of events following interviews with the victim, fellow students and workers, concluding the probe could not place a man at the scene on the night of June 1.

This report appears to corroborate an account of the school’s internal investigations that concluded the student was molested by her colleagues for resisting their sexual advances.

“If you enter the school you have to pass two dormitories before getting to Elgon, the hostel where the girl was. Why would a rapist pass two hostels and specifically go to Elgon?” posed a school official who requested to remain anonymous.

Security cameras

The school official said security cameras positioned outside the hostel were working, contradicting initial reports that they were not operational at the time the incident happened. The footage, according to the official, didn’t show any outsider entering the hostel that night.

“When the girl woke up some minutes past 5am on Saturday, she panicked on realising she had slept on another girl’s bed,” recounted the school official.

The school regulations forbid students from sharing beds or sleeping away from their assigned beds.

According to the source, once the girl woke up, she reported feeling pain in her genitalia. Confused, she started crying.

“The other girls wanted to teach her a lesson for rejecting them. There is crop of lesbians in the school known to many of the students,” said the official.

Even though both sources admit that lesbianism was rife in the school, they said it was only confined to a group of students.

The Kuppet report notes that apart from the main entrance, there are three possible places that a stranger could use to gain access to girls’ dormitories.

“The first entrance is through the roof which lands you on first floor of Elgon hostel where the girl was allegedly raped. The victim however resides in a cubicle on the ground floor, where the toilets are also located,” reads Kuppet’s report.

“This begs the question, why the rapist after landing on first floor, left 100 girls and headed down to ground floor where he met his victim,” states the report.

Second entrance

The second possible entrance, the report noted, was through a lowered fence near a construction site outside the school.

“The closest and easily accessible hostel from the fence is Kilolongo, but the said rapist in this case bypassed the hostel and headed to Elgon, which to access from that point, you must pass the matron’s house,” reads the report.

The last access point into the school according to the teachers’ union, was through an opening on top of the Elgon hostel’s emergency exit door.

“We established that the door is usually permanently locked from inside. To gain access, you must know the place so well so as to be sure of a different exit since the opening is so high you cannot climb back out after getting in,” states the report.

The officials also questioned the three girls from cubicals E2, E5 and E7, who claimed to have seen the reported rapist. They noted that two of them said they went back to bed and slept after ‘escaping’ from the rapist

“E2 victim said she saw someone at around 2am who led her to the toilet. She said she pleaded with the intruder to let her go, and that when the rapist let her go, she silently, went back to sleep, without informing any of the five girl’s she shared the room with,” stated Kuppet in its report.

“E5 victim said she negotiated with the rapist, telling him that she was a Muslim, was observing the holy month of Ramadhan and was not allowed to engage in any sexual activities. She said the the rapist then let her free and just like the first victim, she did not raise alarm or tell anyone.”

The teachers, in their report, questioned how student E7 pulled out of the toilet in the furthest bathroom in the same location, taken to another bathroom closer to the entrance and raped.

“It is not clear why the rapist would move the girl from the furthest and most convenient bathroom to one closer to the entrance,” questioned Kuppet.

The report further noted that there was no blood or liquid in either of the two toilets where the girl was reported to have been sexually assaulted.

“The victim claimed to have laid in a pool of blood from around 3 am to the time she was found. However, there was no blood in any of the bathroom or on her clothes.”

Kuppet also questioned the time taken to report and the way an alarm was raised on the incident.

“Opposite E2, is an alarm which the students ring in case of an emergency. However, on the said night, the girls moved from bed to bed waking each other up, before they decided to inform the matron at 5Aam.”

According Kuppet who said they visited the school twice to interview the students and teachers, the matron said she called the boarding mistress who upon arrival, found another girl sitting on the victim’s bed.

“The boarding mistress noted that the girl was also dressed in the school track suit and not her nightdress like the rest of the girls. The bed was dry and so was the victim’s dress.”

According to Kuppet, when the student was taken to Nairobi Women’s Hospital, the first test for rape by a clinical officer tested negative. A second test by a specialist indicated that there was penetration.

“Presented with this discrepancy, the girl’s parents were asked to pick another hospital for a tie-breaker test and they picked Kenyatta National Hospital. Results from KNH which the media never reported were negative,” states the report.

Kuppet officials urged the government to present its findings and DNA results to settle the case on Moi Girls School. The results were scheduled to be released by July 2, 2018.

Disgruntled workforce

“It would be prudent to give the DNA test results. The well-being of students is most important to us, but we cannot get results (school performance) from a disgruntled workforce buried in embarrassment,” states Kuppet.

Quizzed on the intruder rape claims, one school official told The Standard: “There is a lot happening in this school—so much tension and antagonism. There are a group of parents and students who wanted the principal out of the school, so they escalated the saga to force her out.”

The saga saw the principal, Jael Mureithi, forced into early retirement. The Government also ordered demolition of illegal structures near the school.

All male teachers and workers alongside their male relatives in the school at the time of the reported attack were ordered to submit samples for DNA testing.

When The Standard approached the Nairobi Women’s Hospital, we were referred to the Kenyatta National Hospital, where further tests on the girl were done. KNH, however, declined to reveal the details of the test, terming them confidential.

According to sources in the school, some girls may have violated the affected student by inserting an object in her genitals against her will and perhaps, without her knowledge.

Both sources indicate that the girl failed to name her violators, a move they suspect was out of fear or because she does not recall their identities.

Claims of lesbianism are not new in the school. Last year, parents of a girl suspected to have set a hostel on fire claimed their daughter had been set up for rejecting sexual advances from older girls and for highlighting the prevalence of lesbianism in the school.

According to the parents, the alleged arsonist claimed that some masked girls often came to her bed at night and touched her inappropriately.

DNA results

Nairobi region DCI Nicholas Kamwende said police were still waiting for DNA results from 107 samples that were picked from suspects.

For now, the school personnel worries that its worst days may not be behind it, citing rising student indiscipline including blatant impunity and sneaking in drugs.

“Many of the parents in this school are rich and powerful individuals. They are extremely domineering and disrespectful to staff and their children emulate them,” said one of the workers.