Could it be a classic case of miscarriage of justice? Or is the man’s daughter scheming to have her father released from prison?
Dorcas Mwende claims her father, Julius Wambua Musyoka , who is incarcerated at the Kamiti Maximum Prison never defiled her.
Her claims come five years after Musyoka was found guilty and is serving a life sentence after being convicted by a Kithimani court on January 21, 2012.
“I was shocked when Administration Police officers arrested me at the market where I had gone to buy vegetables,” Julius told The Nairobian when we visited him in prison. He was working as a security guard at a liquor depot in Yatta at the time.
Julius was accused of sexually abusing his daughter, then 15, at his Languni home of Mamba sub-location in Yatta in April 2011. The court relied on two medical reports and witness accounts from Dorcas and her 10-year-old sister.
But Dorcas now claims their estranged mother coached them to give false evidence.
“My mother threatened to kill me and commit suicide if I did not cooperate,” claims the now 21-year-old who is a casual labourer within Mukuru kwa Njenga slums.
At the time of the alleged offence, Musyoka, a father of four, had separated from their mother and was taking care of the two girls after the wife left with their first-born daughter and second-born son in 2007.
Musyoka remarried two years later and was raising the two girls with his second wife.
On January 21, 2012, principal magistrate AW Mwangi sentenced him to life imprisonment after finding the Class Six dropout culpable on the strength of testimony of his own daughters.
In his defence, Musyoka claimed his ex-wife wanted him jailed so that she could sell the family land.
His daughter now claims her mother bribed two different medical practitioners to write a “favourable” report and that she was too young to understand what was happening at the time, and only realised as an adult that her father was serving a life sentence.
“I didn’t know that my father had been jailed. I learnt from people that he was in prison. I approached my grandmother and uncle and confessed that my testimony against my dad was not truthful,” says Dorcas.
“Three years after the imprisonment of my father, our mother disowned me, accusing me of being the source of the family’s troubles. She claimed that I was the one responsible for my father’s imprisonment,” Dorcas alleges.
The mother is said to have changed Dorcas’ name to Felistus. Musyoka also maintains that he did not sexually abuse his daughter.
She wants the matter to be looked into afresh, and has promised to tell the truth since she fears attracting a curse from her father. The 50-year-old Musyoka who has no lawyer appealed against the sentence, but the appeal, drafted by fellow inmates, was thrown out. “I didn’t steal, kill or rape anyone. I always ask God why I am here. If Dorcas is willing to reveal the truth, I will be very happy,” he said.