KHRC Matyrs of Uganda school sodomy
Matyrs of Uganda children's home was closed on March 20 following a report by the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) that alleged widespread sodomy at the institution

A Catholic school in Machakos county has widespread, systematised sexual violence against children, a press statement from the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) has confirmed.

The school and children’s home named Matyrs of Uganda was closed earlier in the week after authorities led by the Machakos County Department of Children’s services (DCS) obtained court orders. The closure order had been persuaded by a report from KHRC claiming sexual violence against children was rampant at the institution.

KHRC said in their statement that their conclusion was based on interviews with one victim of sexual abuse, one parent of a victim of sexual abuse, inquiries with the Machakos County DCS, the investigating officer in the case, and the leadership of Machakos Police Station.

“These interviews have led KHRC to believe that allegations of sexual abuse took place at the Martyrs of Uganda School,” the statement by the Human Rights Commission said.

While not mentioning the perpetrator, the press statement said the abuse implicates “a staff member of the school who is still at large.” Media reports have said that the perpetrator is allegedly a cook at the facility who has worked at the school for 10 years.

“KHRC believes that sexual violence at the Martyrs of Uganda School and Children’s Home is widespread and systematized and that the institution’s administrators have taken few steps, if any, to prevent sexual abuse against minors.”

Beyond questioning the administrators of the school for not treating the matter with seriousness, the Human Rights Commission also faulted the Machakos Police for what it termed as lack of urgency in the matter.

“KHRC believes that the efforts being taken by local law enforcement at the Machakos Police Station far fall short of acceptable standards of police investigations of heinous and systematized sexual crimes, especially crimes against children which should be treated with particular urgency,” it said.

“We are deeply worried by further reports that the alleged perpetrator in this case attacked and sexually assaulted a young pupil on his way to school. This is unacceptable and a testament to the slow pace of police investigations in this case.”

The commission further blamed the law enforcement authorities for their “few active steps aimed at investigating the crime or arresting the perpetrator.”

KHRC said, “The police must dedicate all the resources available to ensure the arrest, investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator.”

Machakos Catholic church administrators were also not spared criticism by KHRC, as the commission said “The Catholic Diocese of Machakos must also take steps to eradicate systematized sexual violence against children, and all violence against children in general, within its own institutions.”

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