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Private school proprietor sentenced to 35 years for sodomy

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The Director of Mwangaza Private Primary and Secondary Schools in Garissa Hussein Hassan Ali has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for sodomy.

Delivering his judgement, Garissa resident magistrate Shadrack Otuke said that he was convinced by the evidence by the prosecution that warranted a custodial sentence.

The sentencing brings to a close the case that has been going on at the Garissa law courts since November 2021. The victim who was in form 2 then has since been transferred to a secondary in Malindi.

The magistrate noted that the accused was armed with a sword when committing the offence and thus the victim feared and obliged due to panic that the accused could have harmed or killed him.

“In my view the accused abused his position to commit the offense. The victim has undergone psychological trauma and shame and thus the accused does not merit a non-custodial sentence,” Otuke said.

“Accused had a higher duty and call to protect children he teaches rather than ‘feasting’ on them,” he added noting that “the character of the accused should not go unpunished.

He said that the children need to be protected and the accused needed to be a good shepherd and not a wolf or hyena which easily feasts on lambs.

“I take note of the defense that the accused was paying salaries to teachers and that he was assisting the community,” but was quick to note that “the same cannot be used to subvert the wheel of justice.”

“Considering the evidence against the accused, in my view the accused should be locked up and be accountable for his own actions. The accused is hereby sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment,” he said. The accused was given 14 days to appeal.

Addressing the press after the ruling, the victim’s father Bashir Muhamud commended the court for upholding the rule of law.

“I had been approached by some of the relatives to the accused to drop the case and have it resolved through the Somali Maslah traditional alternative dispute resolution mechanism but I declined. I did so because I wanted my son to get justice, that has finally been served,” he added.

Abdishukri Jelle, of MUHURI civil organization welcomed the ruling saying that it will deter those out to subvert justice through settling matter out of court.

“This will serve as a warning to those preying on our children with the belief that they will get away with it. Our children have suffered for a long time through Maslah,” he noted.

“I want to urge the courts to continue with the same spirit and ensure that all suspects charged with defilement, sodomy and early marriages of minors get maximum sentences,” he added.

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