Shoddy, rushed investigations deny children deserved, timely justice

Nyamira County Commissioner, Amos Mariba at a hotel in Nyamira while launching a two-day workshop in Nyamira for investigating agents on children matters.

By Deborah Bochere

Shoddy and rushed case reports by investigating agents are key factors denying children in conflict with the law and those in need of care and protection in Nyamira deserved and timely justice.

This observation was made  by Nyamira County Commissioner, Amos Mariba while launching a two day workshop in Nyamira for investigating agents on children matters condemning substandard and rushed reports on children cases denying them timely and deserved justice.

“Investigating agents take advantage of the vulnerability of children and agree to be compromised to manipulate reports on cases where children are involved making it close to impossible for them to access justice whether they are in conflict with the law or in need of care and protection,” Mariba said.

“Police officers, parents, medical professionals, probation officers, prosecutors and all others frequently engaged in dealing with children cases need to execute their duties judiciously and efficiently without being compelled to enable children access justice,” the County Commissioner appealed.     

Nyamira County Police Commander, Ms. Catherine Mugwe said that evidence on children cases is easily manipulated because they are threatened by caregivers, coached on what they will say thus hindering police from collecting sufficient evidence for proper court proceedings.

“Caregivers are surprisingly ready to negotiate and be compromised when a case involving their children has occurred and this gives investigators especially the police officers difficult time to compile concrete convincing evidence for courts to conclude the case fairly leaving children under emotional trauma for even their entire life,” the County commander noted.

The County Criminal Investigation officer, Ms. Monica Ong’ayo advised investigating officers to use tact when getting information for evidence of their cases from children because they are very vulnerable and influenced by very minor factors which may be non-issues while dealing with adults.

Nyamira County coordinator for children services Mr. Sammy Korir thanked Mr. Nemwuel Oyaro, Director for Nyamusi Umoja Community Based Organization (CBO) in the area for partnering with his office to organise the workshop which was an eye opener for investigation officers on children cases to ensure children in Nyamira County access justice.

“Rise of abuse incidents on children in Nyamira County is alarming though not all cases are reported, for those which are reported fewer still manage to be finalized justly because those mandated to accelerate their justice on the contrary take advantage of their vulnerability, tamper with crucial evidence, weakening the trial process which eventually leaves the child with trauma because of the way the case was unfairly concluded,” Mr. Korir explained.

 “That’s the reason we have organized for this two-day sensitization workshop for investigating agents within the county to strategize on a working synergy where they will be empowered to conduct professional investigations on children cases and confidentially secure crucial evidence to give courts ample time in expediting these cases for the best interest of the child,” the County coordinator stated.

The workshop comprised of investigating officers from the departments of the gender desk at the police, criminal investigation office, department of health services, directorate of public prosecution, probation department, Judiciary, the prison to chart a way forward on how they will assist improve justice for children in Nyamira County. 

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