Mugo wa Wairimu

What kind of beast would – allegedly – rape an unconscious woman? Well ... a human one. Last Sunday, Citizen TV aired an expose that shows a man having sexual intercourse with a woman who appeared sedated. The station identified the man as Dr Mugo Wairimu.

It quickly emerged that the so-called doctor is not actually a physician. Daniel Yumbya, CEO of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board confirmed that Mr Wairimu is not a member of the board. He is not a medical doctor. He is a suspected rapist.

It is not surprising, given the Kenya we live in today, that rather than focus on the alleged rape, many of us have chosen to debate Wairimu’s professional qualifications. A section of the medical fraternity has been at pains to prove that he is just a man – not a doctor. As if doctors don’t rape women.

Whether Wairimu is a doctor or not doesn’t take away from the fact that he is now a suspected rapist. Being a doctor – a journalist, pilot, chimney sweep, clown, exotic dancer, policeman, president, janitor, domestic worker, Member of Parliament, diplomat, pope, engineer, lawyer, pastor, business person, sex worker, ward representative, fisherman, clinical officer, musician, aid worker et cetera – does not preclude a person from being a rapist.

Rapists are not bound by professional ethics. They are criminals, and a crime by its very definition, requires a person to break the rules. So if you’ve been catching a feeling because the media besmirched your noble profession by branding the ‘good doctor’ a rapist, have a seat.

The women who allegedly visited Wairimu’s clinic for treatment believed he was a doctor, and because of that they trusted him with their vaginas. That trust does not come easy. Think about it: you’re allowing a man with whom you haven’t shared a bed to be all up in your lady business.

For all intents and purposes, he is a stranger. The only reason you’re giving him such intimate knowledge of your body is because he is a doctor.

In this instance, these women believed he was a doctor and Wairimu (allegedly) did nothing to disabuse them of that notion – indeed, he passed himself off as a physician. As such, he occupied a position of trust that is well recognised by the law.

When he had his white coat on, Wairimu owed his ‘patients’ a higher duty of care than the ordinary man on the street. More than anyone else, he owed a duty of loyalty to their interests that required him to elevate his conduct above that of any other man. If it is proved that he is in fact a rapist, then he absconded that duty completely. He shattered that loyalty into a million little pieces.

It is unlikely that there will be a conviction in this case, should Wairimu ever stand before a judge. Our police force has shown on many occasions that it has neither the will nor the capacity to adduce the physical evidence required to sustain a rape conviction. For the alleged victims of this unspeakable crime, justice may only come via the court of public opinion, where the suspected rapist has already been found guilty.

Maybe we will never prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mugo wa Wairimu is a serial rapist, but by getting the word out we can make sure that he never (allegedly) rapes again.

In the meantime, say your prayers and make sure your doctor is a registered medical practitioner. For a list of all registered doctors in Kenya, visit http://medicalboard.co.ke/online-services/retention.

Julie is a revise editor for The Standard

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