• May 25, 2024
  • Last Update May 25, 2024 9:23 PM
  • Nairobi

DPP Igonga warns parents against settling of defilement cases out of court

Counties

By Peter Ochieng

Parents have need put on notice over settling of defilement cases out the court.

Speaking during the relaunch of the Nyando Social justice Centre in Nyando, Kisumu over the weekend, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Igonga warned that ‘the long arm of the law’ would soon catch up with such parents.

“Defilement is bad because it involves an adult against a child. If we get parents agreeing with perpetrators out of court, we shall arrest them,” said Igonga.

He urged Kenyans to embrace alternative dispute resolution measures to conflicts or offences, but not sexual gender based related cases.

The DPP said that since his appointment in September, 2023, he has been operating on an open-door policy in public prosecutions, adding that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) will collaborate with social justice Centre’s across the country to sensitize Kenyans regarding human rights.

Roseline Odede, the chairperson, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), in echoing Igonga’s sentiments, said defilement is the worst indignity that one can be made to undergo.

“There is no great indignity that defiling our children. Let us love and protect our children,” she noted.

She said over the years, her commission has collectively been fighting for Kenyans’ rights, but now they are coming up with regulations to specifically protect human rights defenders.  

“We’re working on regulations to protect human rights defenders. We will be reaching out to you for your views during public participation. We hope the regulations will be out by mid next year.”

The Nyando Social Justice Centre attracted headlines when its offices went up in flames on 19th July, 2023. The Centre reportedly lost property worth Sh3.2 million.

Assailants, suspected to be police officers allegedly launched an attack on the Centre, setting it ablaze. Witnesses said they saw people believed to be police officers throwing teargas canisters towards the Centre’s ‘iron-sheet officers, with other unconfirmed reports stating that grenades may have been used.

It was on that backdrop that the Amnesty International donated a container worth Sh2 million which has since been turned into an office block. Addressing human rights defenders during the relaunch, Irungu Houghton, Amnesty International Kenya Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said he salutes the courage exhibited by human rights activists in Kisumu, in the face of all the negative odds against them.

Caren WamboI Omanga, the Nyando Social Justice convener said she is glad that they now have a modern office block, where locals can walk in and report cases of human rights violations.

He urged police to collaborate with them, in the fight against human rights abuses. “We are not enemies. We are not here to police them, but to complement the work they do,” she said.

However, Boniface Ogutu Akach, convener, Kisumu Peace and Social Justice Centre said the police who reportedly torched the Centre in 2023, must be brought to book.

“They must be brought to book. We don’t want transfers, we want prosecutions.”

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