Mathare slums in Nairobi. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Sarah Omondi

Ms Evidah Elizabeth was on her way home from a friend’s place on December 30, 2007 shortly after the year’s Presidential elections results were announced, when she was accosted by a group of young men.

“It was around 6PM while going to my step mother’s place in Kariobangi North that a group of men confronted me,” Ms Elizabeth recalls.

The seemingly angry men would then speak to her in one of the Kenyan languages that she did not understand and could therefore not respond.

They would then turn on her and rape her in turns subjecting her to mental trauma.

“They hit me and then gang raped me. I later realised that I was pregnant. I was 16 years then,” the women’s rights advocate and survivor of 2007/08 Post Election Violence says.

The violence left at least 1,500 dead, 3,000 innocent women raped, and 300,000 people internally displaced countrywide.

She was forced to drop out of school as her parents kept insisting she reveal to them the man responsible for the pregnancy.

“I sunk into depression as had no one to share the ugly ordeal with. My family disowned me for disappointing them and kept asking who the child’s father was,” she says amid tears.

Ms Elizabeth at one time tried killing her daughter because of bitterness. The girl is turning 14 years in August this year.

“I had to shift to Mathare where I currently live,” she said.

The mother of two says its sad that politicians continue to make reckless statements eight months to the general elections noting that it could sink the country into violence.

She appeals to youths to shun being used by politicians to cause violence before, during and after the elections.

“We should show politicians what we are made of by standing our ground and not harming fellow Kenyans but preaching peace,” the activist says, adding “Kenya is the only home we have and we should safeguard it”

She said the Uhuruto government had not adequately addressed PEV cases and had failed to assist the survivors including those of sexual violence like her.

Kenyans, she said, should not fight over any politician but talk out their issues and reason together for country’s peace and tranquility.

“We are living in a broken country but are the ones to mend it,” Ms Elizabeth said during recent interview on Citizen TV.


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