Police launch hunt for pedophiles

Police in Malindi have launched a man-hunt for a man who abducted two under age girls and assaulted them sexually for one week.

The man is being sought for allegedly locking the two girls – 14 years and 12 years olds and pupils at Sir Ali bin Salim primary School – in his house for a week where he repeatedly defiled them.

Deputy OCPD Mr Willy Simba said the 25-year old man also used to invite a gang of friends known by the name “Lover boys” in his house who are believed to have participated in sexually assaulting the girls.

The girls were rescued from the house by police following a tip-off from neighbours and taken to the Malindi district hospital for tests and treatment.

“The man used to bring food, juice and other things to the girls but never let them leave his house. He always locked them,” said Mr Simba.

When police raided the house on Monday, the suspect had left. The two girls, pale, terrified and emaciated, were found huddled in a corner of the room where they had been hidden when police forced open the door.

A parent of one of the abducted girls, Mr Said Mohamed said his daughter went for a wedding ceremony at Nidhamia women Hall last week but never came back home.

“All efforts to trace her bore no fruit,” he said. Later, the family got news of a man suspected to have locked some girls in his house.

“My wife went to the police to report the matter,” he said. That how his daughter and her colleague were rescued.

Two neighbours of the suspect Mr Mohamed Athman “Abanga” and Mr Abdalla Chicago said they noticed a lot of movement of the “lover boys” in and out of the suspect’s house but did not discern what could be going on inside.

Elsewhere, traffic police in the town arrested 11 touts said to be harassing travellers at the New Malindi Bus Park.

Traffic boss Mr Gabriel Mulei said the tout

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How to help your child become street smart in a risky digital era

 

Everyone, including your child, is potentially a click away from having a virtual sex interaction or being exposed to explicit material

Everyone, including your child, is potentially a click away from having a virtual sex interaction or being exposed to explicit material. Picture by Phoebe Okal

According to statistics, 93 per cent of children aged 12-17 in the US alone, are online. In the developing world, school age children are also going online.

They are posting provocative pictures, videos and blogs about their deepest personal experiences, and in the process exposing themselves to a lot of danger.

But because the industry lacks censorship and significant gaps exist in the law, it is incumbent upon parents to protect their children from the pitfalls.

Internet pitfalls

While the Internet offers many opportunities for learning, entertainment and personal growth, children face numerous risks online.

For example, sexual predators can, anonymously, gain access to our children, violating the safe walls of our homes without our knowledge.

In the US alone, there are over 644,865 registered sex offenders. The Internet has become the leading technology for distributing hard-core pornography, grossing $13 billion annually.

Everyone — including your child — is potentially one click away from having a virtual sexual interaction or being exposed to explicit material. The challenge for parents is to educate themselves and their children on how to use the Internet safely.

Exploitation

There have been some highly publicised cases of exploitation involving the Internet. Crimes are being committed online and in some cases, children have been victimised.

A child could be exposed to material that is sexual, hateful or violent in nature, or encourages activities that are dangerous or illegal via chat areas, e-mail or even instant messaging.

A child might provide information or arrange an encounter that could risk his or her safety or the safety of other family members.

Child molesters have used chat areas, e-mail, and instant messages to gain a child’s confidence and then arranged a face-to-face meeting.

There are no serious censors on the Internet. Anyone in the world — companies, governments, organisations and individuals can publish material on the Internet. While positive experiences exist, there are many risks in online world.

Like the rest of society, it is made up of a wide array of people. Most are decent and respectful, but some are rude, obnoxious, insulting or even mean and exploitative.

To tell children to stop using the Internet would be equal to asking them to forgo school because students are sometimes victimised or bullied there. The better option would be to teach them how to be “street smart.”

Open parental communication

Having open communication with your children, using computer resources, and getting online yourself will help you obtain the full benefits of these systems and alert you of potential problems that could occur with their use.

Search engines do not, by default, filter out material that might be inappropriate for children, but some offer a child safe option while others are designed specifically for children.

Some websites make it mandatory for users to provide their age and/or to enter a credit-card number on the presumption that children do not have access to such cards. Parents must monitor their credit-card bills for such charges.

Some ISPs and e-mail services include filters as part of their service. One type is the “spam” filter, which limits unsolicited e-mail including mail promoting sexually explicit material.

In cases where it is not provided, parents can buy a software that will attempt to limit the type of mail that gets through.

Parents can programme the software to filter out sites that contain nudity, sexual content, hateful or violent material or that advocate the use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco.

Some can also be configured to prevent children from revealing information about themselves such as their name, address or telephone number. A directory of these filtering programmes is available at http://www.getnetwise.org.

Family rules

By taking responsibility for their children’s online computer use, parents can greatly minimise any potential risks of being online.

Make it a rule to never give out identifying information — home address, school name or telephone number — in public forums such as chat or newsgroups.

Be sure you are dealing with someone both you and your children know and trust before giving out this information via e-mail.

Do not post photographs of your children in newsgroups or on websites that are available to the public.

Consider using a pseudonym or a pen name, avoid listing your child’s name and e-mail address in any public directories or profiles, find out about your ISP’s privacy policies and exercise your options for how your personal information may be used.
Get to know the Internet and any services your child uses. Find out if your child has a free web-based e-mail account and learn their user names and passwords.

Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they “meet” on the Internet without parental permission.

If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public place, and be sure to accompany your child.
Encourage your children to tell you if they encounter suspicious or obscene messages.

If you or your child receive a message that is of a sexual nature, or threatening, forward a copy of the message to your ISP, and ask for their assistance. Instruct your child not to click on any links that are contained in e-mail from persons they don’t know.

Remember that people online may not be who they seem, thus someone indicating that “she” is a “12-year-old girl” could in reality be a 40-year-old man.
Set reasonable rules and guidelines for computer use by your children and monitor your child’s compliance with these rules.

A child’s excessive use of the Internet, especially late at night, may be a clue that there is a potential problem. Personal computers and online services should not be used as electronic babysitters. The same rules that apply to computer use, also apply to cellular telephones.

The writer is an ICT and telecom strategy analyst. Pauline@nordic.co.ke

Heartrending tale of new-age form of slavery

Photo |  AFP A girl peers from behind a curtain. Eyo sounds like a girl we know – but then have just hushed about it because we think “it doesn’t concern us.

Photo | AFP A girl peers from behind a curtain. Eyo sounds like a girl we know – but then have just hushed about it because we think “it doesn’t concern us.

Human trafficking is the new-age form of slavery,” shouted the headline of a feature in the Daily Nation on Tuesday, August 10, 2010.

It was a heartrending tale of human exploitation and how brokers who smuggle people make as much as Sh4 million in one trip alone.

The story reminded one of the book Eyo, a new novel published in Kenya by WordAlive Publishers and written by hard-hitting Nigerian writer, Abidemi Sanusi.

The main character is a young girl named Eyo. And she was leaving behind all she’d ever known. They said she was lucky. They lied.

Unfortunately, she discovers this too late – when she had already been trafficked across the Atlantic and held captive by lustful men.

It’s usually hard to pinpoint the bleakest moment in a book. In some other books, it is easy to do so.

In Uwem Akpan’s award-winning book, Say You’re One of Them, the devastating deadpan line that highlights the bleakest point is, “Selling your child or nephew could be more difficult than selling other kids”.

However, in Eyo, the entire narrative is like one gigantic bleak moment. It was by deliberate design that the book was launched by the former nominated MP Njoki Ndung’u – who was instrumental in the crafting of the Sexual Offences Bill.

The novel opens with the 10-year-old Eyo selling iced water in the market. Gaunt and with her younger brother in tow, Eyo raises her voice and probably her hopes as she calls out for prospective clients.

Eyo doesn’t go to school. Her poor parents have sent her into the streets to sell iced water so that they can have something to eat. Eyo’s father is a drunkard and the mother is a poor housewife.

Needs maid

Money is tight. And they have no food. Then an “opportunity” presents itself. The parents are informed that someone needs a maid in London.

The father grabs the chance and convinces Eyo to go to London. “Anything is better than this,” her father says emphatically.

It is easier to judge Eyo’s parents and quickly brand them “bad” or “irresponsible”.

But do we really know what risk one can take when grinding poverty pushes them to the limit of inhuman existence? Is there a time when we can become so hungry that shame is a luxury?

Eyo is the kind of book that a man can read and leave him so shaken that he can wander for days staring at his daughters, sisters and other female relatives and silently close his eyes — even if he is not religious — and pray for their safety.

Eyo is guaranteed to leave the reader haunted. It’s a confessional diary that starts in a light tone with an innocent 10-year- old girl but the tone suddenly turns dark as she morphs into something unimaginable as she endures evil experiences in increasing measure.

Eyo uncomfortably sounds like a girl we know – but then have just hushed about it because we think “it doesn’t concern us!”

This is one of the things that has encouraged child trafficking; a quiet society that does nothing but watch – and talk in whispers or pray silently that the vice will miraculously disappear.

Just before she leaves for London, Eyo is sexually abused by her lustful father. Then she is illegally trafficked to London, using fake documents, where she is used as a sex slave, first in a private residence, then later in a brothel.

HomeNewsProvincial Provincial Steep rise in pupil pregnancies worries Nyanza teachers

The pupils are also exposed to HIV infections and other sexually transmitted diseases. Many cases of  unwanted pregnancies have been reported in the province in the recent past.

The pupils are also exposed to HIV infections and other sexually transmitted diseases. Many cases of unwanted pregnancies have been reported in the province in the recent past. Photo/FILE

Head teachers from Nyanza are grappling with the increasing number of pregnancies among pupils. The problem will be top on their agenda when they start the annual national head teachers meeting in Mombasa today.

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While their colleagues from the rest of the country will be discussing ways of improving performance, the Nyanza team will be seeking to solve the sex pests problem which, they say, is approaching crisis levels.

Some girls as young as 11 years are getting pregnant. The pupils are also exposed to HIV infections and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Many cases of unwanted pregnancies have been reported in the province in the recent past.

The issue of how safe the children are against the virus came up during a regional headteachers and principals meeting in Nakuru. Speakers at the meeting said the pregnancies could be just be the tip of the iceberg as there could be an underlying bigger problem; most pregnancies occur in close-knit neighbourhoods inhabited by relatives.

Some of the pregnancies could be as a result of incest and defilement by neighbours or teachers because the children are day scholars. Kenya Literature Bureau director, Eve Obara gave an example of a Rachuonyo school where people are not supposed to intermarry because they are believed to be relatives yet 35 girls were found to be pregnant.

“The pregnancies could be resulting from defilement since some of the girls are too young to know about sex leave alone consenting,” she adds. Ms Obara, who also sits at the Nyanza Provincial Education Board, questioned how a man in their right mind could take a class five pupil to bed.

“These children are day scholars. That means the only places they could have been impregnated is at home or in school, raising the question of incest or exploitation by teachers,” she says. She said at Kekelo Primary school, 35 pupils were found pregnant, adding that 20 of them had since delivered and gone back to school while 15 were still out of school.

“We are now having young mothers in our school, cases of children having children yet we have laws that protect the young ones against sexual abuse,” she said. She added that 11 girls at a primary school in Ndhiwa district had been reported pregnant.

Another 10 girls at a school in Mfangano area of Mbita District were reported pregnant while a 14-year-old school dropout gave birth to triplets in Rachuonyo. Ms Obara said the children were at a risk of contracting the HIV virus since it was obvious they were having unprotected sex.

Education and corporate affairs manager for Microsoft in East and South Africa, Mr Mark Matunga, said there were many cases of unwanted pregnancies on the smaller islands of Lake Victoria meaning that immorality, which included incest, was on the rise. Some elders in the area say the girls were being impregnated by relatives which is against the Luo culture.

Following the latest report of 10 pregnancies at a school in Mbita, the government deployed a team to investigate the matter and find out who was responsible. District Commissioner Francis Komen said cases of primary school dropouts were on the rise due to unwanted pregnancies. The administrator who was also quoted in one of the local dailies saying fishermen and youths were preying on vulnerable girls learning at schools near fishing landing centres.

Six foreign beggars charged for illegal stay

 

Six Tanzanians arrested in Embu for being in Kenya illegally will be repatriated back to their country immediately, a court has ruled.

The six had been begging in the town pretending to be disabled as well as posing as sick to receive alms from residents.

Days after a similar scam involving foreigners was exposed in Nairobi, the racket seems to have moved to smaller towns.

According to the police, the culprits were being dropped in the town’s Central Business District in the morning by a saloon vehicle which picked them in the evening.

On the day of the arrest, they were picked from the lodge counting the day’s earnings which amounted to Sh8,500.

Helen Mangu Kiruru, Eliza Sumbuku, Josphine Majula, Marita Kasambi, Doris Basede and Patrol Mangu pleaded guilty for being in the country illegally and contravening the immigration act before resident magistrate Eunice Nyutu .

The magistrate ordered that the five women and one man be repatriated to their country within the shortest time possible after treating them as first offenders.

The foreigners said that they had come into the country with dreams of making a break after hearing of better opportunities here.

“My parents informed me that there are better opportunities in Kenya and advised me to accompany my aunt (Josphine Majula) for a fresh break in life,” said Patrol Mangu.

The aliens were arrested in a lodging in Embu after the public alerted the police who trailed the suspects as they were being dropped in the morning and picked in the evening.

According to the Embu west DC Maalim Mohamed, the public was easily wooed after seeing bandages painted in red and urinary catheters attached to the culprits bodies.

“They told us that they had heard that Kenyans have pity at the disadvantaged members of the society and that they had come to try their luck,” said the DC adding that they were contravening the spirit of the East Africa Community which allowed for free movement of the residents of member states across the region from July.

The six were from Brieda district in Tanzania.

A worker at the lodge told the Nation that the culprits used to purchase beer from the counter and take it to their rooms.

Technology blamed for adolescents’ sexual exploitation

By LUCAS BARASA
Daily Nation, Posted Wednesday, October 6 2010 at 16:17

In Summary

Technologies used to abuse adolescent girls.

  • Newsgroups.
  • Web messages and bulletin boards.
  • Websites.
  • Web-based chat rooms.
  • Search engines.
  • Peer to peer network and file swapping programmes.
  • Mobile phones.

 

Technological advancement is to blame for increased sexual exploitation among adolescent girls, according to a new report.

The State of the World’s Girls 2010 said Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is exposing the girls to images of violence, exploitation and degradation of women “at a time in their lives when they are developing sexually”.

The report-the fourth instalment of Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” series added that more girls than boys are affected by sexual exploitation worldwide and that one in five women report having been sexually abused before the age of 15.

“The internet creates intimacies with total strangers that seem safe, and so adolescent girls have become prime targets for modern methods of abuse, including trafficking via the internet, mobile phones and other communications technologies,” the report says.

The report was launched in Nairobi Wednesday by a director in the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussein, Plan International Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Gezahegn Kebede and UN Habitat head of Gender Mainstreaming Lucia Kiwala and Safe Spaces NGO director Peninah Nthenya.

Terming the internet as just a new medium for old kinds of bad behaviour, it said “it is now possible for someone to snap a degrading photo of a young girl and disseminate it in seconds.”

It said adolescents were in great danger of “online seduction or solicitation” where a girl’s trust is securely drawn into a situation where she can be harmed.

“This enables sex offenders to engage girls on many levels, from sexual chat to enticing them into physical contact. The recent case of a young woman in the UK who was raped and murdered by a man she met through Facebook illustrates the real and present dangers these types of online solicitations can pose to adolescent girls,” the report said.

It said two-thirds of girls do not feel safe online.

Plan International official Nyambura Gathumbi said the situation in Kenya has been worsened by the low prices of internet enabled mobile phones, showing of pornography by some public service vehicles and FM radio stations airing of explicit content in the morning when children are going to school.

The report called for online safety saying international and national laws need to be at par with rapid advancement of IT platforms.

It says the best way to support the wellbeing of girls and their development and to continue the fight against poverty is to equip them with skills to effectively and safely navigate the threats “so that they can make the most of opportunities that are available for them.”

The report noted that city life poses risks for girls such as poverty, overcrowding, poor sanitation, unlit streets, lack of housing, sexual harassment and violence.

Currently, it said, there are more people living in cities than in rural areas and that by 2030 an estimated 1.5 billion girls will live in urban areas.

It reveals that twice as many young women in cities experience physical or sexual violence compared to young rural women.

Plan International also cited discrimination against girls and young women as main cause of poverty.

“Girls and boys have the same entitlements to human rights, but they face different challenges in accessing them.

“This lack of opportunity and care is unfair, as investing in girls has a powerful effect on a family and community’s experience of poverty,” Mr Kebede said.

He said locking girls away to ‘protect’ them from threats facing them also denies them opportunities to “expand their world, supercharge their development and help lift them, their families, their communities and, indeed, whole countries out of poverty”.

Mr Hussein said the urban environment and digital world threatens to plunge millions of girls further to poverty.

Railway line to be built from JKIA

The Kenya Railways Corporation’s city trains currently carry about 19,000 commuters daily on 41 carriages. Photo/FILE

The Kenya Railways Corporation’s city trains currently carry about 19,000 commuters daily on 41 carriages. Photo/FILE

The hurried attempts by air travellers to get to the airport on time to board flights amid huge traffic jams on Mombasa road could ease when plans by the Government to construct a new two-kilometre railway line linking Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and a railway station in Embakasi are complete.

The project to cost Sh800 million, is expected to take eight months to complete and will also see passenger coaches added on the railroad to ease traffic on Mombasa road.

“Within the next eight months, there will be great relief on roads when we link JKIA with Embakasi and then city centre,” Transport permanent secretary, Cyrus Njiru, told reporters in Nairobi on Wednesday. “This is part of the government’s traffic management policy.”

The Kenya Railways Corporation’s city trains currently carry about 19,000 commuters daily on 41 carriages.

Other railroads earmarked for passenger coaches include the one to Ruiru, Dagoretti and Ongata Rongai, said the PS.

Leaving public transport to private investors has failed to make the sector effective, Dr Njiru said.

“We decided to make it open market where there is free entry and free exit but this has not worked,” he said.

He added that the government’s Integrated National Transport Policy, which was recently approved by the Cabinet and awaits debate in Parliament, will guide investment in transport.

Meanwhile, Transport minister Amos Kimunya, told Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya’s economic management symposium that the ministry has started computerising most of its system.

“We are soon rolling out digital systems that will link a particular motor vehicle to its owner, operator, licences, driver, tout, route, past offences, court fines, mechanical condition and location of vehicle,” he said.

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