Regular female users of the Likoni Ferry in Mombasa County are up in arms, following rampant cases of men who sexually harass them while on board the vessel. The Likoni Ferry crossing channel serves commuters to and from the island city of Mombasa and the mainland town of Likoni.
It has emerged that weirdos now take advantage of the congestion on the transport facility to engage in indecent acts.
Such perverts mark and stalk women and strategically plant themselves behind them. And the moment the ferry begins to move, they start pleasuring themselves by rubbing their male members against the women’s posteriors.
As it turns out, some of these perverted thrill-seekers spend the better part of the morning and evening rush hours, shuttling to and from the island as they satisfy their sexual urges.
Fatuma Hassan, a recent victim of the lewd act, vividly remembers her ordeal.
“I could not understand why there was this hard object that kept pressing against my behind, rather rhythmically. Even as I tried to side step, it remained persistent,” says Fatuma.
It only hit her that the man behind her was pleasuring himself and had actually ejaculated when, while straightening her dress as she alighted the ferry, she run her hand over slippery substance that turned out to be semen.
“By the times I tried to look out for the man who had all along been fidgeting and squeezing himself behind me, he had already disappeared,” she says.
“The fact that we are always mixed with men inside the ferry could be the reason why we have an increase in incidents of these indecent acts,” adds Fatuma.
Charged in court
Not long ago, the Mombasa Court was lit up with laughter after a man, accused of sensually rubbing himself against a woman while aboard the Ferry at the Likoni crossing channel, was paraded.
Michael Ogada shocked the court when he pleaded guilty to the charge, which is contrary the Sexual Offences Act.
Senior Principal Magistrate Richard Odenyo heard that Mr Ogada intentionally rubbed the complainant’s backside with his private parts against her will. In yet another related embarrassing incident, a woman, in a bid to express her anger, went to protest at the local police station for the lack of action against sexual harassment cases. She made her protest dramatic by dumping her stained buibui at the stations gate.
Local women are now proposing that the Kenya Ferry management divides the ferry into three sections for men, women and children in a bid to avoid such vile acts.
The behaviour has become so common that one Jane Adhiambo recalls recently witnessing a man suggestively rub himself against an unsuspecting woman.
But when she tried to raise alarm, the offending man pleaded for forgiveness. The victim took pity on him and let the matter slide.
“He looked terrified. Luckily for him, he was very apologetic and his victim forgave him,” recalls Adhiambo, as she calls upon authorities to rein in the freaks.
It is not just women who are alarmed by the disgraceful behaviour. Some men, too, are a disturbed lot and have expressed their concerns over the trend, calling for the concerned authorities to curb the menace and save women the agony.
When reached for comment, the ferry management also confirmed that such cases happen and that plans were underway to ensure women and children get their own ferry in a bid to stop the indecent acts.
Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) Senior Corporate Services Officer Elizabeth Wachira said that as soon as they get new ferries, the women will be boarding a different ferry from men.
“Once we get the other ferries that are coming, women and children will be separated from the men. It is true these indecent acts happen but many are unreported. I have, however, heard of few cases where the victims have been bold enough and reported them,” explained Wachira.
She added that the management is against the indecency, saying that they once in a while announce through a public address cautioning the miscreants against such off-the-wall behaviour.