Despite growing calls by government officials discouraging the withdrawal of gender-based violence cases, the country has recorded 404 withdrawals last year, Chief Justice Peter Shivute announced yesterday.
Domestic violence cases brought before the lower courts took a sharp increase in 2020, with a record of more than 2 300 cases. This, according to Shivute, surpassed 2 044 cases brought before court during 2019 and 1 938 cases in 2018. Shivute was speaking at the virtual opening of the 2021 legal year yesterday. Statistics indicate that of the 2 370 cases for 2020, 1 835 cases resulted in interim protection orders, whilst 765 protection orders were made final.
However, an alarming number of 404 of these applications were withdrawn by the applicants.
“The 2020 reported domestic violence cases are more than the 2 044 reported in 2019. Violence in the home, therefore, continues to be a source for grave concern for the judiciary,” said Shivute.
According to statistics released by the police last year, 5 961 GBV cases were opened between September 2019 to September 2020. Of that number, 3 119 suspects have been arrested and 2 595 have appeared in various courts around the country, while 892 cases were withdrawn for various reasons before they were brought before the courts by the complainants.
The police indicated 2 338 cases were still under investigation, while 900 have been finalised, with 712 suspects having been convicted, while 378 suspects were acquitted and their cases closed.
Of the rape cases, 869 were reported during the period under review, with 604 arrests made and 594 have already made their court appearances.
A total of 25 of these cases were withdrawn by the complainants and 125 are still under investigation, with four cases having been finalised, three convicted and nine acquitted.
On murder cases, 74 cases were reported to the police, with 64 arrests made, and the suspects have all appeared in court. 10 cases are still under investigation, no case was yet finalised and no one has been convicted either.