Kenyan Couple Kills Disabled 3 year old girl

The community of Persons with Disabilities in Kenya is mourning after the death of one of their own, a child, who was murdered in cold blood.

In late September, the body of a three year old disabled girl was discovered buried in a forest in Uasin Gishu County. 

Police say they were first alarmed after getting reports that the girl was missing. 

Olunguse Chief Samuel Bitok said they became suspicious after they noted the child's caregivers were behaving abnormally when asked about the child's whereabouts.

According to the Daily Nation, the caregivers, the child's mother Charity Cheruto 21 and her 28 year old lover Timothy Lihanya, told police at the time that the child was living with a relative. 

"I became adamant and demanded to be told the whereabouts of the child," the chief said. 

Later, Cheruto admitted that they killed the child and buried the body in the forest.

The motive of the killing, according to the couple, was to save their love. This is after the man's insistent complaints that the child was being a nuisance.

After the couple showed police where they had buried the body of the child, they were taken into police custody and later on charged with murder. 

Multiple sources of data reveal overwhelming stigmatization on disabled children in Kenya. 

A report filed by The Kenya Association for the Intellectually Handicapped and the Disability Rights International (DRI) found that thousands of disabled children live in dangerous conditions, especially those in orphanages. 

The study also found a culture of stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities that has led to widespread pressure on families to give up their children to orphanages. 

Commenting on the report, DRI's Associate Director Priscilla Rodriguez said the assumption that people with disabilities have no potential is dangerous. 

"Once it is assumed that they cannot have a full life, their lives are going to be thrown away. They are either going to be left isolated, in inhuman places, or they are going to be killed by their communities and families," Rodriguez said. 

Almost 40 percent of women living in Nairobi who interviewed by DRI for the study said they had been pressured by their community or relatives to kill their disabled child. The number rose to 54 percent of mothers living in rural areas. 

Margaret Njuguna

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