Human Rights Defenders Calls For Special Police Unit To Tackle Femicide Cases

A Kericho human rights defender, has called on the government to establish a special police unit in a bid to speed up investigations of femicide cases with the view of seeking an end to the escalating trends of femicide in the country. In an interview with KNA at Litein town within Bureti Sub-county Kericho, the Kericho Center for Human Rights (KCHR), Executive Officer, Robert Ngeno, said the creation of a special unit within the National Police Service to speed-up investigations of femicide cases will generate timely responses, provide justice for the victims and act as a deterrent, discouraging potential offenders signaling the government's commitment to protecting women. 'The National Police Service must be involved in the creation of specialized officers to handle cases involving relationships, where they have proper training on psychological support and counseling,' said Ngeno. He noted that in the past, isolated incidents of killings, resulting from love triangles and other related circumstances have been reported and law enforcement agencies, would simply justify such killings as normal love triangle deaths, which if any investigations are ever conducted, the far it will go, he regrets, is a mere booking at the police station and the investigation comes to an end before it starts. Ngeno says that this failure to acknowledge the seriousness and the gravity of deaths associated with love and relationships is the very reason the society is now grappling with the monster. Ngeno noted that femicide placed women in complex situations of vulnerability to both sexual and Gender-Based Violence that resulted in physical, sexual, and psychological harm. 'Femicide is a serious crime that should never be allowed to mature post the germination stage. Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread persistent and devastating human rights violations and remains largely unreported, due to the stigma and shame surrounding it,' the KCHR CE added. Ngeno said the society may have failed to address the inci dents to the required standard necessary to deter reoccurrence,thus, making women vulnerable to the vice. The Kericho human rights defender, called for a national dialogue in a bid to end femicide, as its eradication required concerted efforts from all sectors of society, spearheaded by an anti-femicide campaign from the government. 'Society must wake up to reality now and declare a full-scale war against femicide considering Kenyans are potential victims, either directly or indirectly. It is important that the government initiates an open and objective national dialogue on femicide in all units of people convergence in society, including places of work, religious and other social gatherings, to bring together views and opinions that will help in formulating a policy and even law to bestow every citizen a legal and mandatory obligation, to be part of the solution,' said Ngeno. According to data collected by Femicide Count Kenya, 504 women have been murdered between 2019 and 2024. On 4 January 2024, the sta bbing to death of 26-year-old, Starlet Wahu hit newspaper headlines and this followed several similar cases that shocked the nation. Source: Kenya News Agency