She kept fidgeting in the courtroom. It was the wrong place for a four- year-old to be.
But Sarah (not her real name) had to find justice for an offence that her mother says has left her emotionally unstable. Even though she could vividly narrate what had happened to her, Sarah barely understood what the charges Yvonne Mimamo is accused of meant.
“She innocently narrated to me what was done to her but she didn’t know that it was defilement and it is wrong in every way,” explained her mother tearfully.
Mimamo is charged with sexually abusing Sarah last year, by using sex toys on her private parts.
According to the charges, on different dates between September 1, last year and March 31 in Dagoretti, Nairobi county, Mimamo repeatedly abused Sarah in her house.
Sarah’s mother told Kibera senior principal magistrate Boaz Ombewa that she was always suspicious of Mimamo’s character but never thought she would harm her child.
“She is my neighbour and lives upstairs. She is always drunk, but since her daughter and Sarah were close, I let her go with Sarah to their house,” she said.
The mother said Mimoma would take Sarah to her house to play with her daughter. When she went to pick her up, he mostly had changed her clothes.
“Whenever I could ask Mimoma why she changed my daughter’s clothes, she would become very hostile, so I let it pass. Sometimes, I would find her half-naked,” she said.
The mother told the court that Mimoma made it a routine to pick her daughter up claiming she was
her only friend. “She told me that she did not like me but she loved Sarah,” she narrated.
Alarm bells rang when Sarah began getting nightmares and was constantly scratching her private parts during the day.
“She told me that our neighbour, Mimamo, had been inserting a sex toy, from the description, into her private parts,” she said.
“She also told me that the accused
would put some slimy liquid, which she said was mucus, in her mouth,” the mother said.
Sarah’s mother said that the neighbour had threatened to stab her house help if she ever went to pick up Sarah from her house.
But she assumed the threat was alcohol-influenced and chose took be picking her daughter up from the house herself. She said she paid more attention to her daughter then and realised that she was not okay.
“I took Sarah to Nairobi Women’s Hospital before reporting the matter to the police station,” she said.
She added, “My daughter has never been the same since; her nightmares persist and she’s been on a prescribed injection to reveal her symptoms. The injections cost Sh8,000”.
Mimamo was arraigned before Kibera principal resident magis- trate Faith Mutuku. She denied the charges of defiling a child with a sex toy and indecently touching a child.
According to the prosecution, the accused lured the child into her house and defiled her, which led to the girl contacting an infection.
The prosecution said the child was taken to Nairobi Women’s Hospital, where a doctor confirmed she had been defiled.
Mimamo was granted a cash bail of Sh400,000 bond pending hearing and determination of the matter.
BY AKELLO ODENYO AND CLAUSE MASIKA