Schoolgirl walks home after weeks of forced marriage, suspect arraigned
A 13-year-old girl has been rescued from a forced marriage, and a 24-year-old man arraigned for abduction and defilement.
The suspect Allan Chepkurui who worked as a shopkeeper in Juja, Kiambu County is said to have forcefully taken the minor to his home in Bungoma as 'his wife' three weeks ago.
Chepkurui was arraigned on Tuesday at Thika Law Courts after the police arrested him and rescued the schoolgirl over the past weekend.
The class 8 pupil at Woodlands Academy went missing from her parents’ Mung’etho home in Mirima-ini area on August 16, a day after she was reportedly found with a man who worked in a nearby shop.
Juja Sub County Police Commander Dorothy Migarusha said detectives tracked the two to the suspect's Cheptais home in Bungoma County, picked them up, and brought them back to Juja.
However, the minor was released after spending Sunday night in a police cell and the suspect, charged with abduction and defilement. He denied the charges and was granted a Sh 200,000 bond with one surety of a similar amount.
The girl has since been put to a counselling facility after the intervention of a nominated Member of County Assembly Jane Gathiga and Kiambu Woman Rep Gathoni Wamuchomba. The leaders said she appeared depressed.
“The girl has been crying and threatening to commit suicide and we decided to put her through counselling first before she goes back home,” Ms Gathiga told the People Daily.
“The man appears to have brainwashed the minor to believe that she was his wife yet this is not only unlawful, but also, the girl is still underage and in school,” the MCA added.
Her parents said they have been spending sleepless nights since the disappearance of their daughter and praised the police for rescuing her.
Mercy Nyathika, the mother also thanked Ms Gathiga and Wamuchomba for offering to meet the cost of counselling services for the girl.