By Magdalene Mukami and Andrew Wasike
Hundreds of Kenyan women backed by activists from human rights organizations on Tuesday brought traffic to a standstill in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi when they took to the streets to protest alleged rape and theft targeting new mothers at Kenya’s top hospital.
The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africa has received nationwide criticism after victims of alleged rape came out last week condemning part of the staff.
The revelation, which took place on social media, led more alleged victims to come out and speak.
Debbie Oyugi told Anadolu Agency: ”I am here because I am happy that finally, justice will prevail, so Kenyatta National Hospital I am here because I forgive you.”
Another alleged victim who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity said: “I thought I was alone, I am happy that the light has overcome the darkness, I can’t even speak about what I underwent.”
Rita Mutheu a human rights activists and CEO of HER (Health Empowerment and Rights) and also one of the main organizers said: “It is a fact that violence against women is a critical issue in Kenya, KNH is a rot in the society.”
“It is despicable that women, freshly from delivery beds are met with such violence when they can least protect themselves, someone must be held accountable let’s not continue victimizing survivors for where we have failed them,” she said.
The group then proceeded to march to Kenyatta National Hospital where they clashed with hospital staff who were protesting the allegations. The face-off paralyzed operations at the hospital.
The hospital staff, which included mortuary attendants, doctors and nurses among others, told reporters that the accusations were politically motivated.
The hospital management under CEO Lily Koros did not deny the allegations noting that the hospital had employed extra private security to carry out investigations.
On Monday, police asked all those who had been assaulted to file statements.