Kenya: Prison warden arrested for raping COVID-19 patient

by Maruf Adedeji

A police report from Kenya has announced the arrest of a prison warden for allegedly raping a female patient in a COVID-19 isolation facility.

The arrest on Friday July 17, 2020, added to a number of recent incidents revealing disturbing conditions of the country’s public facilities for coronavirus treatment.

But health experts have warned that Kenyans may be discouraged to come forward for coronavirus test over the growing fear of demeaning treatment in government facilities.

Kenya had previously recorded several breakouts from quarantine centre as many especially patients bitterly complained about inadequate food, water and hygiene at the centre.

In March, Kenyan authorities said that they were investigating a reported suicide at a quarantine facility.

According to the police report about the rape incident, it happened at a centre in the western border town of Busia manned by a combined team of police and prison officials.

One of the police officers noticed a prison officer talking to a female patient and therefore left the scene to alert other officers.

The noise and commotion coming from the women’s ward attracted the police officers to rush there but met waiting women outside, complaining that the prison officer was raping one of the female patients.

The report said health officers have been summoned, and the accused officer has been immediately quarantined within the facility.

No comment has yet been received from police and health ministry about the incident.

Over time, there have been many complaints of brutality from Kenyan security forces, with a recent incident, though still under investigation, about some police officers who tied up and dragged a woman behind a motorbike.

Kenyan health ministry said it has confirmed 12,062 cases and 222 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.

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