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Magistrate: You have no powers to negotiate with defilers

By | March 15th 2010

By Kenan Miruka

A judicial official has accused police of encouraging violation of children’s rights by allowing violators to reconcile with victims.

Ogembo Senior Resident Magistrate Lily Nafula said neither parents nor police had power to reconcile in defilement cases as only the Attorney General exercises such powers.

Speaking in Ogembo town during a capacity building training for Gucha Children’s Area Advisory Council members, the magistrate also noted that many genuine defilement cases fail due to inconsistencies in evidence.

"I have noted that in Gucha, P3 forms are filled at the police station while the law says they are supposed to be filled in hospital. Sometimes the victim, a child, says the form was filled at the police station yet police claim it was done at the hospital. Good evidence is shredded into pieces as a result," Ms Nafula said.

She said only a few of the many defilement cases reach the courts as a result of diversion at police stations.

The magistrate said P3 forms are free for children but chiefs attending the training alleged some police and medical officers charge as much as Sh500 for the forms.

"It is sad that some people capitalise on victims’ ignorance to exploit them. DNA tests for defilement cases are done free at the Government Chemist in but only a few people know this," she added.

A senior police officer representing Gucha OCPD Richard Ng’etich said P3 forms for gender violence victims are also free, but said some medical officers and clerks sell them illegally.

There has been an increase in child defilement cases.

Gucha DO Moses Gicharu warned chiefs and their assistants against negotiating defilement cases with violators.

"Chiefs have all enforcement mechanisms and should be on the frontline to champion children’s rights. They should use the Chief’s Act," Mr Gicharu said.

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