by Abel Mutuku
Children defilers, rapists and domestic violence perpetrators may soon face capital offence related charges if the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (POMAC) adopts suggestions from members of the public.
During the Committee’s session held at Kitui Multi purpose hall, the committee agreed with members of the public that defilement,incest, rape and domestic violence is a cross cutting issue that need severe penalties like those charged those meted to suspects facing capital offence related charges.
Majority of those who gave their views on death sentence said the sentence should be abolished while life sentence should replaced with a long sentence spanning between 30 and 40 years.
They said some of those on death row were convicted on fabricated charges and a long sentence is desirable to give the convicts chance to reform and help build the nation in other capacities after completion of the sentence.
” A defiled child and maimed women in domestic violence leave the victims stigmatized for life hence need to classify the charges preferred as capital offence due to magnitude of the offence”, said Kitui Probation Officer Koki Mwova.
She however said death sentence should have been scrapped long time ago and replaced with long sentence since prisons are supposed to rehabilitate the convicts to be good citizens after completion of their jail terms but not to kill them.
Kitui Central Officer Commanding police division Kennedy Onsando said Kamba culture is to blame for the high number of defilement cases in the county since most of the cases are arbitrated outside the court.
He however said defective charges is making investigators to lose defilement charges in the courts adding that in some cases defilement charges are being preferred while in the real sense is rape therefore prompting courts to throw away the case.
The Vice-Chair of POMAC Regina Saira Boisabi said the committee that has collected views from 27 counties is concerned with defilement, incest, rape and domestic violence issues and it will make a concrete decision after completion of the public debate on capital offences and capital punishment.
She said the aim of the countrywide sessions is to provide a platform for Kenyans to express their opinion on capital offences and what form of punishment capital offenders should be subjected to.
Currently 3000 capital offence convicts are in the death row whose fate lies with the Power of mercy advisory committee which gives recommendations to the President.