University of Nairobi apologises over memo blaming student raped by 3 men
Published on: February 26, 2020 01:49 (EAT)
University Of Nairobi Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kiama Stephen Gitahi has issued an apology following public outcry over a memo that heaped blame on a rape victim. Kiama said the controversial memo sent out to students had been authored by the acting director of security and safety services and acknowledged that it was in bad taste. “I have noted that the memo was insensitive and did not represent the corporate values and the image of the University of Nairobi, and is highly regretted,” the memo read. In a memo dated February 24, 2020 and in a matter referenced as: cases of robbery and rape involving female students, the university claimed the rape victims had shown ‘ a clear case of recklessness’. According to the memo, the female student had gone on a night out ‘entertained herself at various joints’ before walking back to the university ‘drunk’ and ‘alone’. The memo further indicated that the student was waylaid by three assailants who robbed her before sexually assaulting her in turns. A raft of guidelines was listed and students told to stay safe at the university. The memo advised, among other things, that students should avoid social functions without any agenda. The memo attracted the ire of Kenyans on social media with scores castigating the institution for blaming a victim of rape. See some reactions from Twitter below:
This is the most disappointing memo I’ve ever read in my entire life! A woman is raped, gang raped, and the first thing, the first damn thing is to blame the victim! This should not be from ‘a world class university’! @uonbi @vcuonbi pic.twitter.com/PzyC9VkWV9 — Dr. Wamocho, BVM (@SeMalemo) February 24, 2020
How utterly disappointing. pic.twitter.com/BBWxtelzPj — Christine Maina (@Chrismaina) February 25, 2020
This cannot be how an entire university responds to reports of rape. The cause of rape is RAPISTS not “reckless behavior.” I’m so sorry to the woman this happened to. Someone needs to be fired ASAP — mama said i’d make it (@the_warm_fruit) February 25, 2020
OMG this is so wrong on so many levels! What if instead we worked towards a zero crime rate country instead of accepting things as the norm and thus ask citizens to act accordingly? Anyone should be able to walk anywhere at anytime in the country without fear. This is so wrong! — Stella Ngugi (@iamStellaNgugi) February 25, 2020
So they went out of their way to detail how she was drunk,alone,decided to take a “lonely path” for warning? Couldn’t they issue these unnecessary guidelines without shifting the blame to her? This memo is sick! — Cardi (@Cardi_O_Logist) February 25, 2020
5. avoid social events if your agenda is rape.
6. Don’t touch drinks left unattended.
7. Don’t give sweets or foodstuff to strangers you want to rape
There. I fixed it for you 😒😒 — Wangithi 😌 (@wangithi_) February 26, 2020