Berita Okoth: Stop killing the future generation

By Berita Okoth

hildren are the future generation and the leaders of tomorrow. Unfortunately, the spate of killings, torture and abuse targeted at the innocent souls is heartrending. Murder cases, rape and kidnapping of students and young children have been on the rise provoking shock and fear.

Fresh in our minds are killings of fellow students at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology where I study. Many students are yet to come to terms with the murder of people they knew, interacted with and looked up to. Sadly, some of them died painful deaths in the hands of their killers who raped them before taking away their young lives.

In 2019, Belinda Akeyo, a fourth year student pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the institution, was found dead in her house in Lurambi with blood oozing from her mouth and other parts of her body. The cause of her death was never established.

Even before people could absorb the death of Muli, the body of a third year student was found outside her house in Kefinco in the outskirts of Kakamega Town. The student – Mackrine Achieng- was pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and was on industrial attachment. The victim was raped and then brutally stabbed, and dumped outside her house. Students were forced to go to the streets to protest over insecurity in the region. The students also protested over other murder cases of students that had not yet been resolved.

Male students have also not been spared in this attacks and murders.

Earlier this year, a final year student at the same university, Moses Muli succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at Kakamega Technical and Referral Hospital. The student was attacked by thugs the previous night at around 8:00 pm on his way from a nearby shopping center.

Similar cases have been reported in many other universities across the country, a trend that is not only worrying fellow students but also their parents and the society.

As families struggle to come to terms with the losses of their youthful relatives who had just set on their career lines, justice remains elusive as majority of the perpetrators roam and roar freely waiting to prey on their next victim.

Children have also become easy targets for rapists and murderers. In the last two months alone, reports of missing children have been on the increase and nerve-racking since most of them result to death after defilement and torture.  

Recently, Masten Milimo Wanjala was arrested over the disappearance of two children. The police tracked him after the two bodies were found dumped in Kabete. He also confessed to killing of more than ten other children. The suspects also led the police to the sites where he committed the crimes.

Before we could comprehend the chilling confession, another perpetrator, Evans Juma Wanjala confessed that he had kidnapped, defiled and strangled five girls.

According to the police, murderers are targeted at school goingchildren between 10 to 15 years.

These cases should be a wake call to our society that the war cannot be won single-handedly if we are to save and protect our younger generations. We need the support and contribution from every pillar of the society – from the individual, community, and government level. More public awareness is required to empower the society not only to be vigilant, but also to address the eyesore of mental illness identified as one of the contributory factors to such evil and dehumanizing acts.

I also urge parents and guardians to ensure that their children are not left to strangers or exposed to danger especially where they are not accompanied.

Berita Okoth is a student at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology 

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