CITY GIRL: Society that kills its women is rotten and dying
Mercy Keino — 25 years old (assaulted and murdered)
Careen Chepchumba — 26 years old (murdered)
Caroline Ngumbu — 21 years old (murdered)
Janet Wangui Waiyaki — 41 years old (murdered at City Park, Parklands)
Sharon Otieno — 26 years old (assaulted, raped, murdered)
Amina Jere — middle-aged (Raped, murdered, naked body found on Naivasha-Gilgil Highway)
Maribel Kapolon — nine years old (kidnapped, murdered)
Saida Abderehman — 20 years old (kidnapped)
Monica Kimani — 28 years old (assaulted and murdered)
I counted nine. Four young women murdered in a span of one month (Sharon, Amina, Monica, Maribel). This is a national disaster.
We have hit rock bottom. We have become the society that kidnaps, rapes and kills its young women and children.
In the latest murder case, a family in Thika is mourning the premature death of their daughter Monica Kimani. Sexually assaulted, throat slit, hands tied, body dumped in a bath tub, water overflowing. Their only daughter — daddy and mummy’s girl — discovered by her brother in her apartment.
I think it is time for us to have a sober conversation about the kind of society we have become. It is time we ask ourselves if we want to be the society that kills women and children or a society that protects its women, the life givers and the nucleus of society.
In the Kenyan society, women have become an endangered species. We cannot walk home alone without the fear of being raped or murdered. One cannot live alone without the fear of opening the door to the person who will end one’s life. Parents of girls can no longer trust that their daughters will walk home safely without encountering kidnappers and murderers.
What is happening here?
As if it were not enough to disrespect women while alive, we have gone a step further to malign and vilify them even in death. I am talking about the murmurs, the gossip, the jeering and the finger pointing we have accorded Sharon Otieno and her family, as if we were so righteous ourselves.
IMMUNE TO MURDER
But what pains me most is not that we have attempted to justify the death of innocent women and children, but that these murders are a reflection of a general rot in society that needs to be addressed at the generational level.
We have taught young women and girls to be careful in how they dress, where they walk, and parties they should or shouldn’t attend. We raise our girls with tips on how not to end up dead in a thicket, but are we raising the boys to not become rapists and murderers?
What we are experiencing right now — blatant murders of children and pregnant concubines — is a manifestation of generational head-burying, and we are now reaping what we sowed.
Second, what is also appalling is the casualness with which we treat the deaths.
We move on so fast. We have become immune to murder. We have normalised the nasty. We watch the news of young women murdered without blinking an eye because we are so used to these atrocities against women.
We are comfortable with violence. At peace with rape. At home with the kidnapping of little girls on their way home from school. OK with powerful men meting out violence on their girlfriends and wives.
This needs to stop right now.
I would like to challenge the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and specifically Mr Noordin Haji. This is getting out of hand for two reasons; first because some men, it seems, have been socialised to think that violence is the solution and number two; because they (the murderers) think they can get away with it.
Mr Haji, make them think twice. Make some high profile arrests, push for prosecution, push for death sentences. We want to see these people punished for their sins.
The murderers of Mercy Keino and Careen Chepchumba are getting on with their lives, drinking expensive whiskey and kissing their children goodnight while the parents of Careen and Mercy cry themselves to sleep.
Mr Haji, open the cold cases like that of Mercy. Please, follow up on Chepchumba’s case. Make phone calls to find out if we will ever have justice for Carol Ngumbu.
What of Janet Waiyaki, who left behind three little ones? Ask them to update you on that one too.
Meanwhile, your plate is full, Mr Haji, Kenyans want to see these killers and kidnappers behind bars.
Finally, I think I speak for many Kenyan women when I say this: Stop killing us!