Mogadishu24:-Garissa High Court has sentenced Hussein Ali, the Principal of Mwangaza Secondary School, 35 years in prison after being found guilty of sodomizing a 17-year-old student. The incident occurred in 2021, and the case has been ongoing up until today, when a judgment has finally been reached.

The judgment was delivered by Garissa High Court Judge Shardrack Otuke, who stated that the court had reviewed substantial evidence presented in the case.

“Having mentioned the judiciary sentence guidelines which I find persuasive and considering the high Court provisions. In my view, the accused should be locked up and be accountable for his all actions. The accused is hereby sentenced to 35 years imprisonment in custody,” declared Judge Otuke.

Human rights activists and the victim’s family have expressed satisfaction with the verdict.

“We finally feel that justice has been served. The accused had been flaunting his wealth, thinking he could use money to resolve this matter. But now, justice has prevailed,” commented the victim’s father.

Human rights activist Osman Muktar stated that this judgment should serve as a lesson to those who attempt to resolve such issues through traditional means. He highlighted the challenges the Maslaha system poses to both human rights activists and victims.

“The court has undoubtedly delivered a fair judgment, considering the prevalent cases of child exploitation in Garissa. We, as the human rights department, are pleased with this ruling. The Maslaha system has proven to be a significant obstacle for us, as it often leads to traditional resolution methods that result in emotional and physical harm to the victims,” Mr. Muktar said.

He further urged the local community to seek legal recourse whenever incidents of this nature occur, particularly involving young girls.

“We encourage the residents of Garissa to pursue legal avenues in cases like these, making use of the judicial system. They should not be intimidated by the traditional elders,” he emphasized.

However, the teacher’s family expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment and plans to file an appeal within the next 14 days.

In recent years, there has been a rise in reported cases of sodomy and rape in Northeastern Kenya. While approximately 90% of these cases have been resolved through the implementation of the traditional Somali resolution system called Maslaha, leaving lasting impacts on the victims. Unfortunately, this system has also created an environment where immoral actions such as gender-based violence, rape, sodomy, and even robbery are on the rise.

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