BY RAHMA RASHID IN LAMU COUNTY.
A 16-year-old girl was on Monday night (December 11) sexually harassed by a suspected al-Shabaab member at Ungu in Hindi, Lamu County.
The suspected terrorist pushed open the bedroom window of the girl’s mother, before ordering her (mother) to meet him outside the house.
“I was asleep when rays of light from the window woke me up. When I looked through window, I saw a man, who introduced himself as a member of the al-Shabaab terrorist group. He asked me if my husband was around, I told him: ‘no’. He, thereafter, ordered me to go outside the house. He warned me against identifying him to authorities or even disclosing that he’d terrorized me at my house. He further said that if I found his conditions were difficult to abide by, I should relocate from that place,” the distressed mother-of-one said.
“He further said that he was part of a vast al-Shabaab network terrorizing Lamu residents. He, thereafter, ordered me to get inside the house, after which he ordered my 16-year-old daughter to meet him outside. They sat outside for a while before he asked her to undress in front of him. She refused. It is then that he stripped her naked, slapped her several times before taking off,” said the teenager’s mother.
According to the girl, the man – during their brief conversation –, inquired if there was a government office around a nearby Police Station, to which she feigned lack of knowledge.
“It is then that he stripped me naked before slapping me several times. When I screamed, he ran away,” said the girl.
According to Hindi ward Member of County Assembly (MCA), Annab Hajj, members of the al-Shabaab militant group target men in Lamu County, whom they eliminate upon contact.
“They (al-Shabaab members) are living among us. Their target prey are men, whom they kill on contact. When they realise that a homestead is not inhabited by a male figure, they resort to bullying, harassing and terrorizing the women they find in those homesteads,” said Ms Hajj.
The ward representative now wants both National and County governments to beef up security in Lamu County, and work closely with residents to identify and smoke out al-Shabaab members living among them.