Teacher sentenced to 20 years for defiling student

By - Jan 1st 1970

The jailing of a 30-year-old computer studies teacher who pleaded guilty to defiling a 15-year-old student in Nairobi has yet again turned the spotlight on the problem of sex pests that continues to plague the country’s schools.

Cedrick Wawire Egesa admitted to having sex with the underage girl in a computer laboratory at a school in Nairobi’s Mukuru Kwa Njenga slums on March 16 and 19 this year.

The magnitude of pupil/student-teacher sex relations was revealed in June last year when the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) revealed that 1,228 teachers had been dismissed from service since 2010.

Tabling a report of teenage pregnancies before the Senate Education Committee chaired by then Bomet Senator Christopher Langat, TSC Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Macharia, said Kakamega County was leading in the prevalence of school girls falling victim at 88 culprits.

 Kisii was second with 61 culprits closely followed by Homa Bay at 60.

Some 53 teachers were interdicted in Kitui during the period, 47 in Bungoma,  Siaya (46), four in Mombasa and Tana River, Nairobi and West Pokot (3) while Mandera and Wajir had one case each.

But according to Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) national chairman, Kahi Indimuli, the cases are now not common as such following the introduction of chaplains to instill moral values in both learners and staff. “Notably, the chaplains provide spiritual and moral guidance. The schools at the administrative level have a full-fledged department of discipline, guidance, and counseling to both learners and staff,” said Indimuli.

Strict code of regulations by TSC

Further, a strict code of regulations by TSC, according to Indimuli who doubles as Machakos High School Principal, has led to led to a decline in sexual misconduct and pregnancies.

“Offences related to carnal knowledge attract summary dismissal from the commission.

“The boards of management for various schools have put in place strict measures too, through their welfare and disciplinary committees to ensure such relationships do not arise,” he said.

In a circular issued in 2010, TSC outlined what it considered sexual offenses committed by teachers.

It defined sexual abuse by a teacher as any activity that will include sexual intercourse, touching a student in a sexual nature, use of suggestive language or gestures, any form of inducement, threats, or violence to force them to give in to demands for sex or exposing them to pornographic material with or without their consent.

But while Macharia rightly blamed local communities for most of the pregnancies putting offenses committed by teachers at two percent, the fact that they breach the trust put in them by parents and guardians is what worries many. Kenya Parents Association national chairman, Silas Obuhatsa blames poverty in most homesteads as a breeding ground and accelerator of the problem.

“The girl child, due to inability to meet needs such as sanitary towels, may fall into such traps. We have tried to find ways as parents to urge the government to provide basic needs for our girls to keep them off from those prey on them,”  notes Obuhatsa.

He is, however, satisfied that some Non-Governmental Organisations such as Huru International have taken a proactive role through the provision of affordable sanitary towels.

“Many NGOs and religious organizations have come up to deal with cultural practices that contradict the existing laws governing matters of teacher-student relationships and sexual harassment in learning institutions,” states Obuhatsa.

Love letters

In the case of Egesa, who has been jailed for 20 years by Makadara Principal Magistrate Hellen Onkwani, the teacher claimed that it is the student who began seducing him late last year and even wrote him love letters that he tore up.

He additionally told the court that on the stated days this term, the minor came to the lab to seduce him and one thing led to another.

“I regret my actions since I was supposed to protect the minor but instead went ahead to do the heinous act despite having a wife,” he stated in court.

However, from the facts of the case, it appears the relationship would have continued had her mother not gotten suspicious when her daughter suddenly developed an interest in going to school on weekends and returning back home late.

And so she sought to know from her school teachers what she does at school and why she came late on that weekend, that was when she finally opened up about having an affair with Egesa.

While Egesa asked the court to hand him a lenient punishment since he had a wife and a child who were fully dependent on him, Okwani noted that he failed to protect the minor and disrespected her and sent him behind bars with an option of appealing the sentence within 14 days.

“Having considered your application and the case before you, I find that you failed to protect the minor and disrespected her. I, therefore, sentence you to 20 years imprisonment,” Onkwani ordered.


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