By Winnie Kabintie
Two rugby players, Frank Wanyama and Alex Mahaga, who had been charged with gang-raping a young local musician on April 2018, have been found guilty.
Both players, who played for the national rugby team and the Kenyan Harlequins Club will be sentenced today.
Under the Sexual Offences Act, gang rape offense attracts a jail-term not less than fifteen years.
“Any person who commits the offence of rape or defilement under this Act in
association with another or others, or any person who, with common intention, is in
the company of another or others who commit the offence of rape or defilement is
guilty of an offence termed gang rape and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment
for a term of not less than fifteen years but which may be enhanced to imprisonment
for life,”. The Sexual Offences Act states.
Wendy Kemunto, a local musician and songwriter, made headlines in March 2018 when she took to her Instagram to reveal how the two ruby players, gang-raped her on her birthday in February 10 in Wanyama’s house. She also revealed that she was pregnant and could not tell who among the two players the father was.
The saga instantly went viral on social media with some people sympathizing with Kemunto while others rubbished her claims, calling her an “attention seeker”.
“I was slipping in and out of consciousness may be due to shock, but I was helpless. I couldn’t fight two men who play rugby professionally. Obviously, they were stronger, hence I let them do whatever they wanted to do the whole night,” Kemunto said in her post on Instagram.
Following Kemunto’s outburst, Frank Wanyama and Alex Mahaga recorded a statement at the Kilimani Police Station and maintained that they had sexual contact with her but it was consensual. They also accused Kemunto of blackmailing them.
They were later charged with rape and released on a Sh50,000 police cash bail each and ordered to surrender their passports.
The Kenya Harlequin Rugby Club suspended the players following the rape charges saying “the club has a zero-tolerance policy on any form of sexual harassment.
Kemunto’s Case Win For Rape Victims
Rape has been on the rise in the country and in most cases, victims are left helpless when they violators walk scot-free.
The Sexual Offences Act, which came into effect in 2006, provides legislation for rape cases and gender violence but shoddy investigations continue amounting to high rates of acquittals while in some cases victims are afraid of reporting to the police due to victimization.
Kemunto’s case, which comes in the wake of the #MeTooMovement, is definitely a win for rape victims in the country and will go along way in encouraging other victims to SPEAK UP!!