The National Gender and Equality Commission has moved to intervene in a case where a 12 year old mentally handicapped girl was defiled and later gave birth to a baby boy in the sprawling Kibera slums. The matter came to the fore after her case was highlighted in the mainstream press prompting the Vice Chairperson of the National Gender and Equality Commission Simon Ndubai who also convenes the Disability program in the Commission paid the family a visit to understand their plight
On a Friday afternoon Ndubai together with staff of the Commission made their way to the family’s home in Kibera. The house sandwiched between a stretches of mud structures is nothing but humble. A single room housing eleven occupants including (Mary) not her real name who is still oblivious of her situation. Her mother (Sally) not her real name offers a heart wrenching story of how she learnt that her daughter was pregnant.
“My daughter is mentally handicapped and I opted to take her to a school for the mentally handicapped in Kitui County. I sensed something was amiss when her tummy kept on enlarging. I took her to Kibera South Health Centre and I was shocked to be told that she was pregnant” she narrated amid gasps of bitterness.
After recovering from her shock, Mary decided to do what a mother would do under the circumstances. She decided to stay by her daughter throughout the pregnancy, taking care of her, monitoring her steps and ensuring she attended pre natal clinics. Sally’s husband is a casual labourer while Sally has had to shelve her casual jobs to tend to her daughter and grandson.
On September 25, 2015, Mary gave birth to a baby boy at Kenyatta National Hospital through caesarean section. When NGEC visited her, she was being assisted to breastfeed her 3 weeks old son.
Commissioner Ndubai decried the level of abuse Mary had undergone saying the State must put in measures to protect vulnerable persons in the society especially children with severe disabilities “Cases of sexual violence involving children with disabilities are on the rise and this is unacceptable. We want the family- (both Mary and son to be registered with the national Council of Persons with Disabilities. This will ensure they are entitled to the monthly stipend” said Commissioner Ndubai.
Ndubai said the Commission would facilitate the family to be brought under the national social protection program where they could benefit with the cash transfer programme. “The Commission has also submitted input into the Nairobi County Persons with Disabilities Bill which proposes the setting up of a special fund to assist families with members with severe disabilities. Said Ndubai. He added that he hopes the County Assembly will deliberate the bill and pass it into law and make it possible for families such as Mary’s to bear with the challenges.
It was however not all gloom as the Commission left the family with a pack of food and non-food items for Sally’s family with hope that help and justice will come their way soon.
Photo Caption: Commissioner Simon Ndubai assists Mary hold her grandson at their home in Kibera