Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hirsi Ali is now an atheist, BUT she believes Christianity can combat the rise of conservative Islam. she was talking Against FGM .


AYAAN Hirsi Ali is shivering in the teal, wool coat that envelopes her on this wet winter day in Sydney.

She looks bird-like. But behind the fragile-looking exterior is a steely mind that has earned her the distinction of being one of the world's most controversial writers, feminists and activists.

Somali-born Muslim Hirsi Ali was a refugee turned Dutch MP when she helped make Submission, the anti-Islamic short film that led to the assassination of its maker, Theo Van Gogh, in 2004.

Ali received death threats, exacerbated by her public rejection of Islam. Since then she has had bodyguards 24/7. Even in Sydney, plain-clothes police shadow her every move.

Hirsi Ali was eight when her family left Somalia. She was granted asylum in The Netherlands in 1992, after she ran away from an impending arranged marriage. She now lives in the US.
Hirsi Ali emphatically rejects calls in Australia to allow a limited form of female circumcision. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has discussed backing "ritual nicks", a modified form of genital mutilation.

University of Newcastle's professor of perinatal and infant psychiatry Dr Louise Newman said some doctors had been approached to perform the procedure.

Hirsi Ali, herself a victim of genital mutilation, says girls who underwent a ritual nick in hospital would probably be subjected to the more radical form anyway.

"Most parents who believe in female circumcision believe in the full form," she says. "I can understand where the Australian doctors are coming from, but it's wrong."

Hirsi Ali favours a strict detection system, where girls at risk are medically examined every 12 months to make sure they haven't been mutilated. She advocates severe penalties for parents who try to force their daughters into mutilation.

"An annual check that takes two minutes is far less traumatic than the alternative," she says. "Educating parents against the practice is also key."

Hirsi Ali has written several memoirs: Infidel, The Caged Virgin and the most recent, Nomad, in which she recounts her life after breaking with her family, her religion and how she struggled to be educated and assimilate into Western society.

"I had to learn to question, to fight for my rights and not to submit to everything bad that could happen to me," she says.

Hirsi Ali urges the West to help Muslim immigrants integrate and overcome the temptation of fundamental Islam.
It's not parents putting children and vulnerable young people in ghettos, but fundamentalists who want them isolated from society.

"Fundamentalists do not want integration," she says." They teach young people that democracy, free thinking, is bad."

Hirsi Ali is now an atheist, and counts British atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins as a close friend.

But she believes Christianity can combat the rise of conservative Islam.

"Churches should do all in their power to win this battle for the souls of humans in search of a compassionate God, who now find that a fierce Allah is closer to hand," she writes in Nomad.

Thank you Margaret Colomb (Ma wa oz) in Sidney for the research..

Ambassador Lucy .s .Mashua President of Mashua's voice for the voiceless International
Assisting refugees in the US and representation in advocasy
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and standing up for Women’s Rights.
And the Chairperson of a worldwide campaign against FGM.
http://twitter.com/Mashua
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415

British girls undergo horror of genital mutilation despite tough laws:(.

This summer, at least 500 British girls will be subjected to the barbaric practice of genital mutilation. For some it will happen abroad;( others will be Mutilated in the UK. Survivors talk about the traumatic effect the practice has on their lives.
WARNING: CONTAINS DISTRESSING AND DISTURBING IMAGES
Like any 12-year-old, Jamelia was excited at the prospect of a plane journey and a long summer holiday in the sun. An avid reader, she had filled her suitcases with books and was reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when her mother came for her. "She said, 'You know it's going to be today?' I didn't know exactly what it would entail but I knew something was going to be cut. I was made to believe it was genuinely part of our religion."

She went on: "I came to the living room and there were loads of women. I later found out it was to hold me down, they bring lots of women to hold the girl down. I thought I was going to be brave so I didn't really need that. I just lay down and I remember looking at the ceiling and staring at the fan.

"I don't remember screaming, I remember the ridiculous amount of pain, I remember the blood everywhere, one of the maids, I actually saw her pick up the bit of flesh that they cut away 'cause she was mopping up the blood. There was blood everywhere."

Some 500 to 2,000 British schoolgirls will be genitally mutilated over the summer holidays. Some will be taken abroad, others will be "cut" or circumcised and sewn closed here in the UK by women already living here or who are flown in and brought to "cutting parties" for a few girls at a time in a cost-saving exercise.

Then the girls will return to their schools and try to get on with their lives, scarred mentally and physically by female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice that serves as a social and cultural bonding exercise and, among those who are stitched up, to ensure that chastity can be proved to a future husband.

Even girls who suffer less extreme forms of FGM are unlikely to be promiscuous. One study among Egyptian women found 50% of women who had undergone FGM "endured" rather than enjoyed sex.
Cleanliness, neatness of appearance and the increased sexual pleasure for the man are all motivations for the practice. But the desire to conform to tradition is the most powerful motive. The rite of passage, condemned by many Islamic scholars, predates both the Koran and the Bible and possibly even Judaism, appearing in the 2nd century BC.

Although unable to give consent, many girls are compliant when they have the prodecure carried out, believing they will be outcasts if they are not cut. The mothers believe they are doing the best for their daughters. Few have any idea of the lifetime of hurt it can involve or the medical implications.
Jamelia, now 20, who says her whole personality changed afterwards."I felt a lot older. It was odd because nobody says this is a secret, keep your mouth shut but that's the message you get loud and clear." She stopped the sports and swimming she used to love and became "strangely disconnected with her own body". Other girls have died, of shock or blood loss; some have picked up infections from dirty tools. Jamelia's mother paid extra for the woman to use a clean razor. It is thought that in the UK there are one or two doctors who can be bribed by the very rich to to carry out FGM using anaesthetic and sterilised instruments.

Comfort Momoh works at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, in one of the 16 clinics up and down the country who deal with FGM and its health repercusssions. Women who have had much of their external genitalia sliced off and their vaginas stitched closed, but for a tiny hole, also come to be cut open in order to give birth.

There are four types of female circumcision identified by the World Health Organisation, ranging from partial to total removal of the external female genitalia. Some 140 million women worldwide have been subjected to FGM and an estimated further two million are at risk every year. Most live in 28 African countries while others are in Yemen, Kurdistan, the US, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Canada.

The UK Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 makes it an offence to carry out FGM or to aid, abet or procure the service of another person. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, makes it against the law for FGM to be performed anywhere in the world on UK permanent residents of any age and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. To date, no prosecutions have been made under UK legislation.

"Obviously in summer we get really anxious. All activists and professionals working around FGM get anxious because this is the time that families take their children back home. This is the time when all the professionals need to be really alert," said Momoh.

"There is no hard evidence in figures about what is happening in the UK because it's a hush-hush thing. It's only now that a few people are beginning to talk about it, which is good because change will only come from within and the numbers coming forward are rising. But there is a lot of family pressure. When I first started in 1997 we had two clinics in the country, now we have 16."

One woman told the Observer how a midwife examining her had raced retching and crying from the room. She had no idea she was "abnormal" before that happened. There is a clear need for women who have suffered FGM to be able to visit health professionals who understand what has happened to them. Momoh said that for those who wanted it, some surgical reversal work could sometimes be done on women with the most severe FGM procedure, Type III. For those with other types, counselling and support is all that can offered.

"Periods are agony – you get a lot of women who are determined to have reversals while they are having their period but then when the pain has stopped they lose their nerve again," said Leyla Hussein, 29, who has had to have years of counselling to cope with her own anger and distress at what was done to her as a child. It has helped her forgive her own mother's complicity in the mutilation she endured, though the older woman could not understand why Hussein would not have her own child, now aged seven, cut. But Hussein has vowed that she will be the last generation of women in her family to suffer.

"It was my husband who said on our honeymoon, 'We are not going to do this thing to any child of ours.' I was quite shocked, I hadn't questioned it. But I now realise a lot of men are not in favour of FGM, not when you tell them the woman is not going to enjoy herself."

Hussein is among a slowly but steadily growing band of women who have reacted against what happened to them with courage and a determination to stamp out FGM. Hussein has run support and discussion groups for affected women and for men, and formerly worked at the African Well Women's Centre in Leyton, east London.

"I can really relate to some of the women who are very angry, but how do you blame your mother, who loves you yet planned this for you? There is a lot of anger and resentment. Many women blame themselves and of course there are flashbacks to deal with. I had blackouts – anytime I had to have a smear test, I would pass out because lying in that position brought it back to me, but the nurse is used to me now and allows a little more time with the appointment." (EVERY SURVIVOR OF FGM GO THROUGH THIS WITH EVERY GYNO APPOINTMENT IT IS HELL ON EARTH! BY MASHUA) For Jason Morgan, a detective constable in the Met's FGM unit, Project Azure, the solution lies with those girls themselves: "Empowering youth, giving them the information, is the way forward. They are coming from predominantly caring and loving families, who genuinely believe this is the right thing to do. Many are under a great deal of pressure from the extended families.

"Sometimes it might be as simple as delivering the message of what the legal position is; sometimes we even give them an official letter, a document that they can show to the extended family that states quite firmly what will happen if the procedure goes ahead. The focus has to be on prevention."

Project Azure made 38 interventions in 2008, 59 in 2009 and 25 so far this year. For Morgan those statistics are just as important as getting a conviction. "We know it happens here although we have no official statistics, but we have seen very successful partnerships and we don't want to alienate communities through heavy-handed tactics.

"While a prosecution would send out a very clear message to practising communities, really it is very difficult and you would be relying on medical evidence, and in turn that would all hinge or whether the child consents to an examination."

But Naana Otoo-Oyortey is not so content with the softly-softly approach:( WHICH I STAND WITH HER AND 100% AGREE PEOPLE STOP BEING SOFT OR BLOODY CULTURE SENSITIVE WITH THIS ATROCITY LISTEN TO US WE HAVE SUFFERED AND WE WILL NOT LET OUR CHILDREN SUFFER SO DO YOUR JOB! BY MASHUA AGAINST FGM) "We have anecdotal evidence that it is being done here. So someone is not doing their job: it's an indication that the government has been failing to protect children. The commitment is hollow."

Head of the leading anti-FGM charity Forward UK, Otoo-Oyortey said people value the FGM tradition as something which holds a community together and gives it structure. "It's seen as a party, a FGM party because it's a celebration – people expect it as a way of welcoming a girl. A lot of women will mention to us that there have been no prosecutions here so why do we worry about the law? At the end of the day who will know?

"And we cannot just blame the women as the men are silently supporting it by paying for it. The new government's lack of a position on FGM is very worrying. We don't know what they will do, but we do know that the summer holidays are here again and we will be left to pick up the pieces in a few weeks' time."
And for those who will undergo "FGM" this summer, the effects will be lifelong. Miriam was six when she had her cutting party at her home in Somalia, two years before war arrived to force her family out.

When she was 12, doctors were horrified to find that what they thought was a cyst in her body was actually several years of period blood that had been blocked from leaving her body. Unable to have children, she now lives and works in England and worries about other girls. "I'd seen so many people undergo FGM, all my neighbours, so I knew one day it was going to happen to me. We knew what was happening," Miriam said.

"The little girls who were born in Europe have no clue. They will be traumatised a lot more. The only thing they know is that they are going away – that's what they say, 'We're going on a holiday'.

"Then her life and her head are going to be messed up. It's amazing how many people are in mental health care because of their culture. Don't get me wrong, I have religion and culture and I love where I'm from and I love what I stand for. But culture should not be about torture.

"Why would anyone want to go and cut up a seven- or eight-year-old child? People need to wake up — you are hurting your child, you are hurting your daughter, you're not going to have a grandchild, so wake up."

Ambassador Lucy .s .Mashua President of Mashua's voice for the voiceless International
Assisting refugees in the US and representation in advocasy
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and standing up for Women’s Rights.
And the Chairperson of a worldwide campaign against FGM.
http://twitter.com/Mashua
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415

British girls undergo horror of genital mutilation despite tough laws:(9








This summer, at least 500 British girls will be subjected to the barbaric practice of genital mutilation. For some it will happen abroad;( others will be Mutilated in the UK. Survivors talk about the traumatic effect the practice has on their lives.
WARNING: CONTAINS DISTRESSING AND DISTURBING IMAGES
Like any 12-year-old, Jamelia was excited at the prospect of a plane journey and a long summer holiday in the sun. An avid reader, she had filled her suitcases with books and was reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when her mother came for her. "She said, 'You know it's going to be today?' I didn't know exactly what it would entail but I knew something was going to be cut. I was made to believe it was genuinely part of our religion."

She went on: "I came to the living room and there were loads of women. I later found out it was to hold me down, they bring lots of women to hold the girl down. I thought I was going to be brave so I didn't really need that. I just lay down and I remember looking at the ceiling and staring at the fan.

"I don't remember screaming, I remember the ridiculous amount of pain, I remember the blood everywhere, one of the maids, I actually saw her pick up the bit of flesh that they cut away 'cause she was mopping up the blood. There was blood everywhere."

Some 500 to 2,000 British schoolgirls will be genitally mutilated over the summer holidays. Some will be taken abroad, others will be "cut" or circumcised and sewn closed here in the UK by women already living here or who are flown in and brought to "cutting parties" for a few girls at a time in a cost-saving exercise.

Then the girls will return to their schools and try to get on with their lives, scarred mentally and physically by female genital mutilation (FGM), a practice that serves as a social and cultural bonding exercise and, among those who are stitched up, to ensure that chastity can be proved to a future husband.

Even girls who suffer less extreme forms of FGM are unlikely to be promiscuous. One study among Egyptian women found 50% of women who had undergone FGM "endured" rather than enjoyed sex.
Cleanliness, neatness of appearance and the increased sexual pleasure for the man are all motivations for the practice. But the desire to conform to tradition is the most powerful motive. The rite of passage, condemned by many Islamic scholars, predates both the Koran and the Bible and possibly even Judaism, appearing in the 2nd century BC.

Although unable to give consent, many girls are compliant when they have the prodecure carried out, believing they will be outcasts if they are not cut. The mothers believe they are doing the best for their daughters. Few have any idea of the lifetime of hurt it can involve or the medical implications.
Jamelia, now 20, who says her whole personality changed afterwards."I felt a lot older. It was odd because nobody says this is a secret, keep your mouth shut but that's the message you get loud and clear." She stopped the sports and swimming she used to love and became "strangely disconnected with her own body". Other girls have died, of shock or blood loss; some have picked up infections from dirty tools. Jamelia's mother paid extra for the woman to use a clean razor. It is thought that in the UK there are one or two doctors who can be bribed by the very rich to to carry out FGM using anaesthetic and sterilised instruments.

Comfort Momoh works at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London, in one of the 16 clinics up and down the country who deal with FGM and its health repercusssions. Women who have had much of their external genitalia sliced off and their vaginas stitched closed, but for a tiny hole, also come to be cut open in order to give birth.

There are four types of female circumcision identified by the World Health Organisation, ranging from partial to total removal of the external female genitalia. Some 140 million women worldwide have been subjected to FGM and an estimated further two million are at risk every year. Most live in 28 African countries while others are in Yemen, Kurdistan, the US, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Canada.

The UK Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 makes it an offence to carry out FGM or to aid, abet or procure the service of another person. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, makes it against the law for FGM to be performed anywhere in the world on UK permanent residents of any age and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. To date, no prosecutions have been made under UK legislation.

"Obviously in summer we get really anxious. All activists and professionals working around FGM get anxious because this is the time that families take their children back home. This is the time when all the professionals need to be really alert," said Momoh.

"There is no hard evidence in figures about what is happening in the UK because it's a hush-hush thing. It's only now that a few people are beginning to talk about it, which is good because change will only come from within and the numbers coming forward are rising. But there is a lot of family pressure. When I first started in 1997 we had two clinics in the country, now we have 16."

One woman told the Observer how a midwife examining her had raced retching and crying from the room. She had no idea she was "abnormal" before that happened. There is a clear need for women who have suffered FGM to be able to visit health professionals who understand what has happened to them. Momoh said that for those who wanted it, some surgical reversal work could sometimes be done on women with the most severe FGM procedure, Type III. For those with other types, counselling and support is all that can offered.

"Periods are agony – you get a lot of women who are determined to have reversals while they are having their period but then when the pain has stopped they lose their nerve again," said Leyla Hussein, 29, who has had to have years of counselling to cope with her own anger and distress at what was done to her as a child. It has helped her forgive her own mother's complicity in the mutilation she endured, though the older woman could not understand why Hussein would not have her own child, now aged seven, cut. But Hussein has vowed that she will be the last generation of women in her family to suffer.

"It was my husband who said on our honeymoon, 'We are not going to do this thing to any child of ours.' I was quite shocked, I hadn't questioned it. But I now realise a lot of men are not in favour of FGM, not when you tell them the woman is not going to enjoy herself."

Hussein is among a slowly but steadily growing band of women who have reacted against what happened to them with courage and a determination to stamp out FGM. Hussein has run support and discussion groups for affected women and for men, and formerly worked at the African Well Women's Centre in Leyton, east London.

"I can really relate to some of the women who are very angry, but how do you blame your mother, who loves you yet planned this for you? There is a lot of anger and resentment. Many women blame themselves and of course there are flashbacks to deal with. I had blackouts – anytime I had to have a smear test, I would pass out because lying in that position brought it back to me, but the nurse is used to me now and allows a little more time with the appointment." (EVERY SURVIVOR OF FGM GO THROUGH THIS WITH EVERY GYNO APPOINTMENT IT IS HELL ON EARTH! BY MASHUA) For Jason Morgan, a detective constable in the Met's FGM unit, Project Azure, the solution lies with those girls themselves: "Empowering youth, giving them the information, is the way forward. They are coming from predominantly caring and loving families, who genuinely believe this is the right thing to do. Many are under a great deal of pressure from the extended families.

"Sometimes it might be as simple as delivering the message of what the legal position is; sometimes we even give them an official letter, a document that they can show to the extended family that states quite firmly what will happen if the procedure goes ahead. The focus has to be on prevention."

Project Azure made 38 interventions in 2008, 59 in 2009 and 25 so far this year. For Morgan those statistics are just as important as getting a conviction. "We know it happens here although we have no official statistics, but we have seen very successful partnerships and we don't want to alienate communities through heavy-handed tactics.

"While a prosecution would send out a very clear message to practising communities, really it is very difficult and you would be relying on medical evidence, and in turn that would all hinge or whether the child consents to an examination."

But Naana Otoo-Oyortey is not so content with the softly-softly approach:( WHICH I STAND WITH HER AND 100% AGREE PEOPLE STOP BEING SOFT OR BLOODY CULTURE SENSITIVE WITH THIS ATROCITY LISTEN TO US WE HAVE SUFFERED AND WE WILL NOT LET OUR CHILDREN SUFFER SO DO YOUR JOB! BY MASHUA AGAINST FGM) "We have anecdotal evidence that it is being done here. So someone is not doing their job: it's an indication that the government has been failing to protect children. The commitment is hollow."

Head of the leading anti-FGM charity Forward UK, Otoo-Oyortey said people value the FGM tradition as something which holds a community together and gives it structure. "It's seen as a party, a FGM party because it's a celebration – people expect it as a way of welcoming a girl. A lot of women will mention to us that there have been no prosecutions here so why do we worry about the law? At the end of the day who will know?

"And we cannot just blame the women as the men are silently supporting it by paying for it. The new government's lack of a position on FGM is very worrying. We don't know what they will do, but we do know that the summer holidays are here again and we will be left to pick up the pieces in a few weeks' time."
And for those who will undergo "FGM" this summer, the effects will be lifelong. Miriam was six when she had her cutting party at her home in Somalia, two years before war arrived to force her family out.

When she was 12, doctors were horrified to find that what they thought was a cyst in her body was actually several years of period blood that had been blocked from leaving her body. Unable to have children, she now lives and works in England and worries about other girls. "I'd seen so many people undergo FGM, all my neighbours, so I knew one day it was going to happen to me. We knew what was happening," Miriam said.

"The little girls who were born in Europe have no clue. They will be traumatised a lot more. The only thing they know is that they are going away – that's what they say, 'We're going on a holiday'.

"Then her life and her head are going to be messed up. It's amazing how many people are in mental health care because of their culture. Don't get me wrong, I have religion and culture and I love where I'm from and I love what I stand for. But culture should not be about torture.

"Why would anyone want to go and cut up a seven- or eight-year-old child? People need to wake up — you are hurting your child, you are hurting your daughter, you're not going to have a grandchild, so wake up."

Ambassador Lucy .s .Mashua President of Mashua's voice for the voiceless International
Assisting refugees in the US and representation in advocasy
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and standing up for Women’s Rights.
And the Chairperson of a worldwide campaign against FGM.
http://twitter.com/Mashua
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415





Monday, July 26, 2010

FGM the main cause of FISTULA in Kenya , when FGM goes wrong.

PLEASE VOTE HELP ME END FGM.... http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business/contestant/9343/index.php


FGM CAUSES A LIFE TIME OF PAIN ..NOT ALL WOMEN CHILDREN CAN ACCESS RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERIES.

PLEASE VOTE HERE
http://www.startupnation.com/leading-moms-in-business/contestant/9343/index.php


Ambassador Lucy .s .Mashua President of Mashua's voice for the voiceless International
Assisting refugees in the US and representation in advocasy
The Global Ambassador for fighting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and standing up for Women’s Rights.
And the Chairperson of a worldwide campaign against FGM.
http://twitter.com/Mashua
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mashua-Against-FGM/225406701415

Thursday, July 1, 2010

IN KENYA Family cries out for justice over girl raped by Catholic priest:(




A Catholic priest has been accused of raping a schoolgirl only minutes after giving her bananas and oranges for her sick mother in hospital and praying for her. The priest, who was serving at Gekano Parish in Kisii Diocese in November last year when the incident reportedly occurred, then tried to swear the 16-year-old girl to secrecy with a promise of education.

A senior administrator in the diocese, also a priest, confirmed that a complaint had reached the bishop’s office over the matter, and said investigations were ongoing.

But the girl’s family suspects a cover-up plot, citing the fact that the accused priest has since been moved from the diocese and the conduct of another priest who later visited their home to collect the clothes worn by the girl at the time she was allegedly raped.

The family has also accused the police of inaction even though they reported the matter to the Keroka police station.

The Class Seven girl is said to have gone to the priest’s house to return the plastic bag in which she carried the fruit to her mother who was at St Elizabeth Gekano health centre about 70 metres from where he lived.

The woman had been admitted with malaria on November 23 last year, and her daughter was taking care of her.

The priest visited the sick woman to pray with her between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. the following day.

“After praying he asked me if I had taken any food, but I said that I had no appetite. He asked me if I would take some bananas and oranges.

“He said that he had some fruits in his house which he wished to give to me. I accepted. But the priest instructed my daughter to make sure that she returned the plastic bag,” the mother told the Sunday Nation this week.

“Within a short time the girl had brought a bunch of bananas and two oranges. I ate one and gave one to the nurse,” she said.

The mother of six said that after removing the fruit her daughter returned the bag to the priest’s house as instructed.

“She stayed there for long, and I started getting worried where she was. She was supposed to go home and prepare lunch for her siblings, and yet the keys for the house were on my bed,” the mother said.

“She did not come back and instead went straight home. In the evening I decided to leave hospital and go home and asked her why she returned without taking the keys, but she kept quiet.”

She said the following day her daughter opened up and told her what had happened.

“While in the house he asked me why my parents were always fighting, but I kept quiet,” the girls said. “He then asked me to allow him touch my breast, but I declined again as I got frightened.”

Warned her

She said the priest forced himself on her, tore her clothes and then defiled her. The girl said the priest then promised to assist her to pursue her education and warned her not to disclose to any person what happened as people would laugh at him.

Veronica Ogato, a nurse at the health centre, said she, too, suspected that something bad had happened. She recalled that when the priest came she was attending to the mother of the victim.

“He came in, greeted us all and prayed, then he left with the girl,” she said. The nurse said she grew worried when the girl stayed for long in the priest’s house as the mother was complaining.
“I later saw the girl seated next to the fence of the church in tattered clothes, using her sweater to cover her torn clothes. I sensed that something must have gone wrong,” Ms Ogato said.
“She looked depressed and stressed, but I did not tell the sick mother,” she said. “At 4 p.m. I passed by her parents’ place and asked to be allowed to talk to her. I came with her to my house and persuaded her to tell me what happened. She opened up and narrated to me what had happened.”

She said the girl told her that a “bad man” had torn her clothes off and defiled her. The priest then gave her Sh100 as a bribe to silence, her but she refused to take it.

“As a nurse, the following day I decided to give her an injection so that she did not conceive as it was three days after her monthly period,” Ms Ogato said.

The family said the girl at one time even attempted suicide after her schoolmates began to tease her. The parents moved her to a different school. The family has also become the laughing stock of the village, mocked by villagers who accuse them of “exchanging their daughter for a bunch of bananas and two oranges”. The mother said that a day after the rape, the suspected priest visited her home, prayed for her and gave her the sacrament.

On November 26, the girl’s mother claimed that Father Zachary Bikeri, the priest in charge of Gekano Parish, visited their home to purportedly ask for forgiveness over the incident on behalf of the priest.

“We prayed together, and after prayers he had a written statement which he asked my husband, daughter and me to append our signature to. The statement said the church was going to act on the allegations, and so we obliged.

“He then took the clothes that my daughter had worn when the incident occurred to take to the bishop so appropriate action could be taken against the priest,” the mother said.

Delayed to report

She said they believed that justice would be done and that was why they did not report the matter to police.

The girl’s mother said when she threatened to raise the alarm, her daughter’s clothes were returned to her on April 12, but they had been cleaned.

The Sunday Nation made several attempts to obtain a comment by phone from the accused priest on June 11 but without success. “I am on the road and will call you back ... I will call you back please,” he said and then switched off his phone.

Fr Bikeri told the Sunday Nation that he could only talk to the girl’s father.

“As you can see I am attending to another visitor, and you will have to wait or else you come another day,” Fr Bikeri said and then went back to his house.

Father Jeremiah Nyakundi, the administrator who is third in line in the Kisii Catholic Diocese, admitted that the complaint had reached the bishop’s office.

“We received the complaint about the defilement in December last year, and it was that time that the priest was moved in order to allow for investigations to go on,” Fr Nyakundi said.

However, Father Nyakundi said only the Kisii Catholic Diocese Bishop Joseph Mairura was in a position to tell how far the investigations had gone.

“What I can confirm is that the priest is not in Kisii diocese as he was moved, and it is my hope that the case will be completed, but at the moment it is still an allegation,” Fr Nyakundi said.

The bishop was out of office when we tried to contact him. The victim’s father says he unsuccessfully sought a meeting with Bishop Mairura in January.

“On January 18, 2010, I went to see him but he did not meet me. I was told that he was busy, and I had to leave,” the father said. Keroka police boss Ramson Lolmodoni said they did not know about the incident.

“I have tried to search for the case in our occurrence books, but I am unable to get it; even if he had reported, it was too late as we could not act,” Mr Lolmodoni said.The girl’s father is bitter about the leadership of the church which he accuses of abandoning his daughter and protecting the priest.

“She was tormented, and we have not been able to get her professional counselling services due to lack of resources. This is the question I have been asking the leadership of the church: why are they doing this to us?” he said.

On March 11 this year, the victim’s father went to local chief Jane Matara to report the incident. She advised him to report it to the police.

He said he went to Keroka police station on March 29 to report the matter, but the area OCS told him that it was too late to act on the case. “He (the accused priest) has been calling us and promising that he would pay for the education of our daughter in a boarding school provided we did not report the matter.”

“And at the same time, we were to tell the bishop that all the allegations against him were lies so that he could compensate us, which we have declined,” the victim’s father said.:(
I SAY THIS RAPIST SHOULD GO TO JAIL!! WHAT MAKES HIM THINK RAPING A GIRL AFTER OFFERING TWO ORANGES AND BANANAS AND HIS FILTHY PRAYERS HE HAS THE RIGHT TO RAPE AND ROB THE BABY GIRL CHILDHOOD? AND THE SHAMELESS SELFISH DEMON DARES CALLING AND SHOWING UP AND PROMISING TO BUY THE SILENCE WITH EDUCATION?
THE OCS AT Keroka police station SHAME ON YOU FOR SAYING IT IS TOO LATE TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST THIS PIG!!!! LOCK HIM UP!!!!!! I AM TIRED THAT ANY MAN CAN BUY THEIR WAY OUT AFTER SUCH AN ACT OF VIOLENCE!!!

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