Nairobi, December 9th, 2014
A second woman has filed a complaint with the police against Standard Group columnist and PEN Kenya Secretary Tony Mochama for alleged sexual assault. The victim requested identity protection, as is her right under the law, and details of the alleged assault will remain confidential as police investigate. Mr Mochama is currently under police investigation for an alleged indecent act against author Shailja Patel at a lunchtime meeting of poets on September 20th. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce Kenyan poets to the founder of the Africa Poetry Book Fund, Kwame Dawes and other US poets visiting Kenya for the Storymoja Hay Festival, and for Kenyan poets to learn about the work of the Africa Poetry Book Fund.
Police are urging any other victims of alleged assault or alleged indecent acts by Mr Mochama to also report to police stations in the jurisdictions where the crimes may have occurred. There is no statute of limitations on crimes under the Sexual Offenses Act.
Witnesses in the case have reported threats by Mr Mochama to sue them for defamation. Witnesses have also reported harassment by writer Binyavanga Wainaina. Police assured all witnesses in Ms Patel’s case that Mr Mochama’s threats have no basis in law as long as witnesses are simply reporting truthfully what they saw and heard. Police warned Mr Mochama and Mr Wainaina that witness-tampering is a criminal offense. Police urged witnesses to report harassment and threats to the police stations in the jurisdictions where they occurred.
Wangechi Wachira, Executive Director of CREAW (Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness) said: “It is unfortunate that Mr. Mochama, while loudly protesting his innocence in the media, is actively attempting to subvert the course of justice and impede the due process of the law. It is the duty of every citizen to cooperate with our criminal justice system until justice is not only done but seen to be done.”
• Centre for Rights Education and Awareness ( CREAW)
• The Co- Convenors of the Africa Unite Campaign to End Violence against Women
• The Kenyan Ambassador – Africa Unite Campaign
Wangechi Wachira, Executive Director
Centre for Rights, Education and Awareness (CREAW)