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Kenyan judge wins ‘Golden bludgeon’ award for worst verdict

Kenyan judge wins ‘Golden bludgeon’ award for worst verdict

Kenyans have been making headlines across the globe for various notable reasons. Starting with our athletes who continue to break world records to Lupita Nyong’o winning an Oscar and not forgetting that Kenya is also the home to the father of America’s first black president, Barrack Obama.

Recently, Kenyan Born Lucy Gichuhi was sworn in as Australian Senator becoming the first black African member of the federal parliament of Australia.

“She Wanted It”

Well, a Kenyan judge has broken the grain of making headlines for all the right reasons by winning an award for making the worst verdict in the history of justice in a rape case he presided over in 2016.

Malindi High Court judge, Justice Said Juma Chitembwe, overruled a 20-year jail sentence that a magistrate court had handed to 24-year-old Martin Charo, who had been convicted for defiling a 13-year-old girl, on grounds that the minor seemed willing to have sex with the man.

“Where the child behaves like an adult and willingly sneaks into men’s houses for purposes of having sex, the court ought to treat such a child as a grown-up who knows what she is doing.

“She had gone to the appellant’s place to have sex and then go back home. She had known the appellant for about three years. She dodged her brothers after going to the beach and sneaked into the appellant’s house,” Justice Chitembwe said during his ruling.

The Golden Bludgeon Award

Justice Juma Chitembe’s ruling on the case was highlighted during the Gender Justice Uncovered Awards, which unveil the court rulings that did the most to advance (Gavel Award) or set back (Bludgeon Award) gender equality across the globe.

The ruling won the judge the Golden Bludgeon award (decisions that set back gender equality), by Women’s Link Worldwide, an international organization of women in the legal fraternity.

Women’s link worldwide condemned the judge for setting a bad precedent on sexual violence cases involving minors.

“The decision sets a dangerous precedent assuming that girls who consent to sex before age 18 should not be afforded special protections provided to children and suggests that girls who do not report sexual violence immediately after the incident may be lying,”.


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