East African Center For Law & Justice


Kitengela Mission

EACLJ once again got an opportunity to meet with a group of women that had organized a conference to enlighten them on the provisions made for the women in the constitution. The meeting was held in Kitengela area and was organized by Pastor Kamwaro.

Our facilitators Ken Mbaabu and Melissa Lukulu were able to tackle a few topics and answered some questions raised, within the short time given.

Issues Discussed

The issues discussed included:

1.  Sexual Offences Act – this was the first to be tackled. There was definition of sexual offences, right to prevention and protection of all persons    from harm; the unlawful sexual acts, including incest were clearly explained.

This discussion also brought up the need to mention children’s rights, who have been immensely affected by sexual violence. This was tackled as represented in the Children’s Act which outlines the rights of children and also guarantees their protection. The women were also advised on course of action when one has been sexually molested or comes across a victim of the same. The directions given included:

- Not showering immediately after the ordeal for medical purposes.

- Not to clear the crime scene for investigation purposes.

- To get immediate medical attention (within 72 hours) and ensure the medical reports are well kept.

- To report the matter to a nearest police station, carrying the medical reports to confirm the claims.

They were informed of their right and capacity to report such matters on behalf of affected minors. They were also urged to disseminate the information to others who were not in the meeting, to increase awareness and empowerment.

The information given resulted in some questions being asked which included:

Q. Do boys/men fall victims of rape and how is that even possible?

Our facilitator explained that boys/men may also fall victims of sexual abuse, although this information is suppressed as society assumes that girls/women are the only victims. The embarrassment and fear of prejudice that comes with the violation most of the times overwhelms them and results to their shying away from seeking help.

Q. What is one supposed to do in case the child molested is not theirs but needs help?

The ladies were informed that any grown up (person over eighteen years) has the right to represent a minor in such a case then let the authorities handle the case.


2. Succession and Inheritance –  It is a sad realization, yet a compelling truth that women have suffered marginalization, loss of property especially in cases where the husband passes on and the in-laws take everything that they claim ‘belonged to their son’, leaving the widow suffering in poverty. Their importance when it comes to matters of succession has over the years been ignored.

The main cause of this can be attributed to the absence of a (valid) Will at the time of the deceased’s demise. It was important for EACLJ to explain this important information to the women to help them learn how to exercise their rights.

A few questions were raised after the discussion of this topic, which include:-

Q. Do adopted children/orphans have the right to inherit property?

The facilitator explained that the court of law has no choice but to honor the testator’s wish. If the Will indicates that these persons are to inherit, this shall be complied with. In other instances, where there is no Will, the court will consider whether such persons were the dependants of the deceased. If this is established, they shall inherit a percentage of the property left.

Q. What happens when a man dies without a will in a polygamous marriage?

Melissa, one of EACLJ’s facilitators answered this question by explaining that if a man dies and there is more than one wife, the property is divided between the “houses”, i.e. between each family of wife and children. The amount each house gets is proportional to the number of children, for purposes of their up keep.


3. Divorce, Separation and maintenance – Before embarking on this discussion, it was important for Mbaabu to emphasize that when a marriage is in difficulty, the couple should seek help and counseling from their pastor, family or trusted elders before deciding to divorce.

He went ahead to explain that although God hates divorce, one does not need to stay in an abusive marriage just for the sake of it. Many have resulted to spouses hurting, sexually abusing the mother or even the kids and in extreme situations, some have been found dead after they got into an argument that led to a fight with an abusive spouse.


From the topics and questions that were asked during this session, the facilitators understood some of the underlying problems in the area and were able to organize for more sessions that would tackle the issues. It was resolved that more efforts need to be harnessed in order to disseminate information on the bill of rights and related provisions in the constitution and other legislations. As such, more civic education needs to be carried out to achieve this awareness.