WILL WE EVER RECEIVE JUSTICE: The Story of Edith
"...though am no longer angry, I feel dirty"
“I thought I was safe in my house with the door locked. So I warned my four children not to open the doors for anyone. Living near the railway line I knew we were vulnerable to attacks, but I felt safe in my house, but not anymore.
That morning my husband was forced out of the house by a group of neighbor to go and fight for our rights and protect us. How ironic would this seem to me later!
They first attacked the hospital behind my house and looted property from my neighbour’s shop . When I work up that morning, I had a feeling that the day would be different, and I was not wrong, the 26th of January 2008 will forever remain in my mind.
The violence had reached its peak and the government deployed members of the special force known as General Service Unit (GSU) that is notoriously known to be cruel and heartless to Kibera which at that time was on “fire”.
When I saw the GSU, I thought that we were now safe from the rowdy gangs walking around; I didn’t know they would later turn into animals! That Tuesday afternoon, 3 GSU men broke into my house, I sensed danger, they looked angry, so I told my children to run out. I am a mother of four girls, the oldest being 20 years , followed by a 15 year old and the last born are twins aged five.
Only the two older ones got away. My younger daughter remained behind screaming while the men tied my head with the sheet and threw me onto the bed. Then they raped me repeatedly until I lost consciousness.
When I regained consciousness, I found my children asleep next to me with tears on their faces. How was I ever going to explain to them what those beasts had done to me? This was a heart wrenching moment for me.
Their innocence had been broken. Up to now I have not spoken a word to them about what happened.
For five days, I sat there wondering what had happened, I could not understand and maybe never will understand the magnitude of what happened to me. I was filled with shame and self hatred and I could not get out of the house. I would wash myself with salty water to ease the pain.
After five days, my one of my friend came to find out how I was doing since she had not seen me for a while, when she saw my condition, she helped me get to the hospital. The first thing they did at the hospital after I recounted my ordeal was to test me for HIV and indeed I was found positive.
I don’t know whether I was already positive before my rape or I got the virus as a result of the rape. All I know is that I am now helpless with four mouths to feed and no source of income. My husband never came back after he heard that I was raped. If he happens to come back and I tell him that am also positive, I am sure he will go away for good.
I am attending counseling courtesy of an NGO known as CARE international, but I still feel dirty though am no longer angry. For me the recent report by the UN rappoteur, Professor Paul Alston is a stark reminder of the failure of this government to protect its citizen. The signing of the peace deal by Prime Minister Raila and President Kibaki might have brought peace to the country but it didn’t bring me any peace of mind.
I can’t walk well and I still have a lot of pain in my pelvic area. Those animals tore me up literally; I can’t provide for my children and we depend mainly on handouts from well wishers. This means that I can’t take my children to school and that affects their future too.
I have been failed by my fellow beings for violating my rights and raping me, my husband who has rejected me after the rape, and my government which seems to care less about my plight. Has just ice been served one year after the signing of the peace deal? I leave that to you to decide!