Father steals daughter for sexual pleasure….

Posted on August 4, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

Dad, I gave you maximum respect and unquestionable loyalty. I shielded you from ridicule and refused to expose your crimes. Now you have repaid me with misery! I still love you dad but you must get a little punishment for your crimes…”
This is a message from a distraught 19-year-old Form Two student, Wairimu ** to her father, Simon Kimani Mithia. Her life is in shambles. She has suffered from manic depression and tried to take her life on several occasions, all because of her father.

Her cry represents a cry from a growing number of children sexually abused by their fathers and threatened with death if they reveal. Some of their mothers cover up the crimes to “protect the family.”

Alarming statistics

The rate at which wayward fathers are sexually preying on their daughters has reached alarming levels.

Even with tough jail terms their acts go on unabated.

Director of Community Policing, Gender and Child Protection at police headquarters, Beatrice Nduta says the issue is degenerating into a national disaster.

She accuses the society and some members of the provincial administration of fuelling the crisis through cover-up.

“Parents are compromising on defilement against their children. Some chiefs and their assistants hold Kangaroo courts to fine the culprits goats and cows,” she laments.

Head of the Gender Violence Recovery Centre at the Nairobi Women Hospital Lillian Kasina says last year, 79 cases of defilement by fathers were recorded at the facility.

She says the cases are rampant across the country adding that some people fear reporting. Central Province and Nairobi have more cases recorded.

She says mothers conspire and shield the fathers in the name of preserving the family’s image. The victims are told the family will suffer stigma, legal consequences and become a laughing stock.

Such was the case for Wairimu.

In 2004, shortly after sitting the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Thageini Primary School in Nyeri District, her trusted uncle introduced her to a man as her long lost father. She was overjoyed.
Her mother explains a point during the interview. The girl is about to deliver after she was allegedly impregnated by her father who has since gone into hiding. Photos: Jennifer Wachie /Standard

After 15 years without fatherly love, the man was now ready to shower her with good things.

“He promised to educate me and ensure that I never lacked anything. At first I was doubtful but my uncle convinced me pointing out our similar physical features,” Wairimu recalls.

When the girl’s mother, Bilha Wangui heard about this visit, she was livid.

“He stole into our life like a thief in the night. Before I knew it, my daughter’s head was running wild,” Wangui says.

Kimani had married Wangui in 1989 but the marriage failed after one year leaving her with an eight-month-old baby Wairimu.

She educated her until she was 15-years-old when the father came back to her life while she was at Kirigiti Rehabilitation Centre.

She had been taken to Kirigiti through a court order to repeat Standard Seven after her mother complained she was disobeying her.

“My uncle came to school accompanied by Kimani. He convinced me Kimani was my father and he took me for shopping in Kiambu town,” the girl recalls.

But she never returned to school as she went away with the “father”.

“I learnt that my former husband had fetched her from school. How could he come after all these years to destabilise her life? I marched to his home in Kagaa,” recalls the girl’s mother.

After a clan meeting, the mother was advised there was nothing wrong with the father reuniting with his long lost daughter — his only child. After all she was going to be enrolled at the nearby Kagaa Secondary School.

But the mother cringes with horror at the mention of Kagaa, where she was swept off her feet by Kimani in 1989, made a wife, a mother and later left on her own.

Wairimu went through Form One without difficulties but in January while in Form Two, Wangui was summoned by the school administration. “They told me my daughter had collapsed. I rushed there and found she had recovered,” she says.

The girl explains that after collapsing, she was taken to Kagaa clinic by her father and relatives.

Further tests were conducted which brought out a well-kept family secret. Wairimu was now pregnant.

Unapologetic father

Earlier, Kimani’s uncle Cyrus Njuru had confronted him for taking his daughter to bars.

“I told him he was introducing her to immorality. We held a family crisis meeting but Kimani was unapologetic,” Njuru told CCI.

When the tests were out, the father was dumbstruck.

“At first he wanted me to implicate any young man I could think off. There was no way I was going to testify against anybody else. My father threatened violence but I held my ground,” the girl recalls.

The girl recounts how a steamy affair had developed in which she had little say.

“I was staying with my grandmother but my father demanded that I join him in his house. He argued that the house had two bedrooms,” explains Wairimu. She claims that one night in January, he returned home drunk and started pestering her.

“When I resisted, he grabbed the pruning knife and threatened to slash my throat if I denied him sexual pleasures. He took advantage of me,” the girl says.

Wairimu says she was too ashamed to confide even in her grandmother. She respected the father too much to expose him.

The father repeated the assault a few days later.

“Later he suddenly lost interest in me. He became rude and appeared reluctant to pay my school fees. And when he learnt that I was expectant, he begged me not to abort,” she adds.

Later she mysteriously disappeared from the village with the father.

“The principal called me to ask about her whereabouts. I told him she was supposed to be at school. When I later went to Kimani’s home, I was informed he had left with my daughter to an unknown destination,” the mother says.

“I know Kimani was living in the same house with his daughter although there was no other person. I received reports that he was sleeping with his daughter but later fled when the girl became pregnant,” Kamburu Location chief, Kariuki Kaniu told CCI.

“The father has gone into hiding. We believe he is in Ongata Rongai,” Githunguri Officer Commanding Police Station, Kingsford Nyaga said.

“Once the medical records and the P3 form are filled, we will liaise with police in Ongata Rongai to arrest the suspect. We will then use DNA tests to establish whether the man and the girl are related and the fatherhood of the unborn child,” the OCS added.

Kimani’s mother, Rahab Nduta was scandalised when we broached the subject: “What you are asking is taboo. I cannot bring myself to talk about it. I do not know who impregnated her. What you are asking me is unspeakable,” the agitated grandmother added.

She, however, confirmed that the girl was her granddaughter and that her son had migrated to unknown place.

The Good Samaritan who picked the abandoned girl in Kitengela and who requested not to be identified says: “It was a big burden. I was afraid the girl would deliver in my home and complicate my life. That is why I searched for her mother.”

Wairimu says Kimani left her taking a soda outside a shop.

Paedophiles on the prowl

Pedophiles and serial rapists have been on the prowl in parts of Kiambu District leaving shattered lives and tormented souls.

In September 2007, citizens, human rights groups and members of provincial administration held demonstrations to protest the rising cases of sexual violence against children.

Githiga Location Chief, Grace Nduta recalls how she personally participated in the demonstrations urging the people to expose ‘the beasts.’ “I am a chief, and a mother. I get distressed when I hear that somebody has been sexually violated. This is an evil we must all join forces to eliminate,” she says.

“At the height of this orgy of violence, we could receive as many as three cases a day. The suffering was too much,” recalls Paul Kamau Mwangi of Human Rights Community Bridge.

Kamau’s organisation helped in the arrest and prosecution of eight suspects who had been brutalising their own daughters in Githunguri Division.

“Out of the seven fathers who had been arrested for defiling their daughters, two were handed life sentences. A third is serving 10 years in jail,” Kamau says.

In the same district, a HIV infected woman was arrested for recruiting pupils into group sex orgies.

In a case that shocked local residents, the woman from Komothai paired the young girls with adults mainly matatu and lorry drivers.

Outraged parents led police in raiding the premises last year where pornographic material was seized and the suspect arrested.

**Name has been changed to protect the identity of the girl.
By Amos Kareithi and Mwangi Muiruri

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