KNCHR release report on sexual violence during and after 2017 polls

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KNCHR Chairperson Ms Kagwiria Mbogori
KNCHR Chairperson Ms Kagwiria Mbogori

A total of 201 recorded cases of sexual violence emanated from the 2017 general elections according to a report released by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) titled ‘Silhouettes of brutality’. This comes after a research was done in nine Counties in the country; Kakamega, Busia, Bungoma, Vihiga, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya, Migori, Nairobi, and one case from Machakos and one from Uasin Gishu. KNCHR Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori, however, said these cases aren’t in any way conclusive and exhaustive but just a record of survivors who courageously shared their ordeals, “It’s not a limit or extent of the violence that happened,” she said, and that some victims are still suffering in silence.

The most affected were women, with 92.26% of the cases reported while 3.74% were men. She said the majority of the survivors came from informal settlements where there were fierce protests and equally high handed measures to stop the violence were used. The KNCHR chair said that older persons weren’t spared during the conflict, given their frailty and incapability to flee. She noted that another glaring statistic points out that security agents were the major perpetrators of sexual violence at 54.55% while 45% of the sexual violence cases were meted by civilians. “It’s expected that in the moment of conflicts security agencies would be at the forefront of offering protection to civilians and arresting perpetrators for prosecution,” she said, adding that a situation where security agents were the perpetrators is a worrying case.

Mbogori said KNCHR has made recommendations that they intend to follow up and ensure they are implemented so that political differences will never lead to brutalization again. The Commission has made recommendations to the President, Parliament, Judiciary, the National Police Service, IPOA, National Police Service Commission, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), the Media, Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations.