By Farah Adan, Wajir.
Women in Wajir County have a reason to smile following the life imprisonment of a man who raped a 6 year old girl by a Wajir Court today.
47 year old Abdi Osman defiled a girl that is four decades younger than him and fought a spirited fight to conceal evidence and evade justice.
He at first tried an out of court settlement with her parents through the Somali system of settling disputes known as Maslaha where he paid the girl’s father 6 goats and a cash amount of one thousand Kenya shillings with the promise of marrying off the young girl at the age of puberty.
This failed after Women right activists from the County who were not satisfied with the way the matter was handled picked up the issue attracting intense media coverage of this and many similar cases in the County.
When he realized that he was in trouble again, Abdi tried to collude with the clinical officer who examined the girl.
The medical report by the compromised officer then confirmed no evidence of penetration forcing the court to reduce his charges to attempted rape.
The young girl’s health deteriorated forcing her parents to seek specialized treatment at Nairobi Women’s Hospital at the advice of women rights activists in Wajir.
Doctors at the hospital confirmed defilement hence driving the last nail in the man’s coffin.
When the case was again filed at Wajir law courts for the second time as defilement, both the pedophile and the clinical officer who tried to conceal evidence found themselves in trouble.
The clinician was charged with obstruction of justice while his client, the rapist, was given life imprisonment.
The judgment was welcomed by women in the County who termed it as a victory for women and a deterrence of such crimes in the future.
“This is a judgment that was long overdue. It will uphold the dignity of the girl child whose rights were abused using the maslaha system” said Mama Sahara Keynan.
The same sentiments were shared by Mama Qeyra Abdullahi who said from now henceforth, rapists should spend their life behind bars.
They both called on parents to avoid out of court settlements because it was done in the offender’s interest hence encouraging the crime.