BY PETER KOMBE
Supreme Court Judge Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u wants the Director of Public Prosecution and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to develop a clear policy on how to reintegrate to society radicalised women.
Saying there is a policy gap on radicalised women, Justice Ndung’u notes that this vacuum in law should be address to guarantee the returnees’ safety.
“There is a vacuum in the law and you DPP and DCI (both present) to find a solution that will take care of radicalised women ready to reform and come back home,” she says.
According to her radicalized women are willing and ready to return home but fear for the unknown is keeping them away from declaring their intentions.
The judge is also opposed to the Parliamentary motion geared towards lowering the age of consent to sixteen saying this is wrong because the age brackets falls under the minor category.
“I must say that I strongly oppose the debate to lower the age of consent to sixteen years as this age bracket is still in the minor category that needs our protection,” she said.
Justice Ndung’u called on women to stand up and fight for their rights warning that ‘nothing’ will come their way without a fight.
Over time, the judge notes the number of women ascending to local or national position has increased in the judiciary, parliament and other governmental posts.
But this, according to her, is not enough and women should claim their rightful share in all spheres of life socially, politically and economically.
“Our numbers have been rising steadily over time and men are not doing us favors when we claim for share of the national cake,” she adds.
She notes that women are not only voters but also taxpayers just like their counterpart men challenging them to stand up in the fight for a more just society.
Justice Ndung’u was speaking during the launch of the first women led Sisters for Social Justice Centre at Mwandoni of Kisauni Subcounty in Mombasa County to mark the milestone in the war on gender based violence on April 25, 2019.
Addressing the same function, the DPP Noordin Hajj says women play a fundamental role in society and insists on the need to protect their rights.
Promising to work closely with the centre so that women can access justice, Mr Hajj the rights of women cannot be overlooked but instead prevailed to all for execution.
On claims of police officers harassing citizens, the DPP warns that those found culpable will be dealt with according to the full force of the law.
He notes that drugs, robbery with violence and gender based violence remain a challenge in Kisauni Subcounty but promises to bring all perpetrators to book.
“We still have issues such as drugs menace robbery with violence and GBV. Something must be done to address these challenges,” he says.
Reiterating the DPP’s sentiments, Mr Kinoti told rogue police officers to desist from harassing wananchi saying this will land them in trouble with his office.
He questions why the same officers who are supposed to offer security to the people can again turn against them through engaging in heinous acts such as harassing or torture.
“If there are police officers who do the contrary then you as citizens must report such officers to the authority,” he said.
The DCI, however, admitted that there are a few elements within the police force whose major aim is not to follow the law but use unorthodox means to blackmail citizenry for personal gains saying if caught they will carry their own crosses.
He urged Kenyans to report any form of women abuse to the relevant authorities so that they can face law accordingly.
Pledging to support the initiative, the British High Commissioner to Kenya Nick Hailey says the launching of the centre will go a long way to address issues affecting women and their rights.
“We fully support the launch of this justice centre. Without justice we cannot have development without peace we cannot move anywhere,” he adds while criticising men who sexually assault women.
Haki Africa gender activist Salma Hemed urged the judiciary to make decisions that are sensitive to women empowerment including the full enforcement of the constitutional one third gender rule.
“We want the judiciary to come forward and empower our women. The issue of one third gender rule,” she said calling on the executive through the office of the DPP and the DCI to tighten the grip in GBV matters and the empowerment of women.