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Kayole children’s home closed following defilement claims

The government has shut down a children’s home in Kayole that Nairobi News exposed in October following claims that its director was defiling the vulnerable girls housed at the facility.

The House of Peace Orphanage Home was shut by the children’s department on Tuesday after the lapse of a closure notice.

The director of the home, who is now being sought by police, is still inaccessible on his phone number and has since deactivated his Facebook account.

Identified as Mr Duncan Odhiambo, the director who is in his twenties had cohabited with a Form Three girl living at the facility for over three months after he separated her from the more than 20 children. He lived with her as man and wife while she attended studies.

She was later transferred to another children’s home after locals reported the matter to the police and the children’s department; and insiders say the director was courting the minor’s sister, also housed at the establishment.

According to the children’s department, the home was closed at a time when four minors were living at the institution, with the gate locked from inside.

“We had to seek the help of police to gain entry into the facility. We then rescued the minors,” said Ms Kellen Karanu, the director children’s services.

Ms Karanu told Nairobi News that the minors have been taken to other facilities and those who had parents had been reunited with them.

POLICE INVESTIGATIONS

“Our priority was to ensure that the children are rescued and those with their parents are returned to their homes. We have left the investigations to the police,” Ms Karanu said.

“Tell Kenyans that it is wrong to run a children’s home illegally.”

In October, two minors at the facility explained how the director was subjecting them to excessive punitive measures like lashing them severally with a plastic whip and sometimes denying them food as punishment.

They told Nairobi News that a Standard Six girl had to flee from the home in March after Mr Odhiambo’s brother summoned her to his room one Saturday morning and stayed with her behind a closed door for over two hours. She came out crying.

Some of the donors and well-wishers who had been assisting children at the facility reacted to the story with anger.

One of them, who is a US citizen and who had at one time volunteered at House of Peace, shared her frustration with Nairobi News after Duncan suddenly went quiet on her when she probed her on Facebook about the claims.

“He said everything was a lie and he couldn’t speak to people he never met. When I mentioned the girls that slept at his house when I was in Kenya, he blocked me on Facebook ,” the sponsor who requested anonymity said via email.

“I was recently informed that the schools fees had been paid by a donor for the entire year. But each term he was also getting money from me,” she lamented.