University of Nairobi’s department for security and safety services was on the spotlight for blaming female students over rape incidences in their campus environs. While the department acknowledged that it had received reports of numerous cases of students being robbed of their valuables and in worst cases raped by their assailants in the city and its environs, its response to the latter was not received well by the public.
In the memo, titled Cases of Robbery and Rape involving female students, the department went ahead to narrate an ordeal that befell one female victim, painting a negative picture of the victim. This did not sit well with Honorable Majala Mlagui elected deputy governor of the County Government of Taita Taveta who called out UON’s security department for normalising the culture of rape and blaming it on the victims.
“A woman/man cannot be involved in their own rape. They do not choose to participate in it. A clear case of recklessness on the part of the female students? Shame! Shame!Shame!,” she wrote on her twitter handle.
A few hours later, University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kiama came through to set the record straight apologizing to all the students over the insensitive memo.
“I refer to a memo dated 24th February 2020 titled Cases of Robbery and Rape involving female students, that was released to all students on February 25th by Acting Director of Security and Safety Services. I have noted that the memo was insensitive and does not represent the corporate values and the image of the University of Nairobi and is highly regrettable.
“This is therefore to assure all our students of our commitment to protect and care for them at all times. Students is always advised to call the Director of Security and Safety services whenever they are faced with security challenges during the day and at night. I will always be at your disposal for support,” read the notice to all students.
But one Twitter user was agitated by the ‘apology’. She was disappointed that the memo failed to address the issue. By labelling the victims as reckless, she said gives potential rapists leeway.