Taxi driver accused of molesting minor charged in Mombasa court

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By CORRESPONDENT, MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 23 – A Mombasa taxi driver who was arrested on Tuesday last week for allegedly forcing a minor to perform oral sex on him has denied the charges before Shanzu Magistrate Court.

Fredrick Njenga, who works for a local taxi-hailing company, appeared before Shanzu Resident Magistrate David Odhiambo on Tuesday after the prosecution amended the charge sheet as ordered by the court last week.

Shanzu Senior Resident Magistrate Yusuf Shikanda had freed Njenga on a Sh100,000 surety bond with an alternative of Sh50,000 cash bail last Wednesday faulting the prosecution for preferring an improper charge.

Odhiambo extended similar terms to Njenga on Tuesday pending a hearing on August 13.

He was charged with committing and indecent act with a child contrary to section 11 (1) of the Sexual Offence Act No. 3 of 2006.

Njenga’s lawyer, Jared Magolo, told the court his client has been subjected to torture and harassment since his arrest on July 16.

“The accused person was released on bond and the charge was withdrawn. However, on Friday he was re-arrested again. We wish to be supplied with the report of where he was being held since his arrest last Friday,” said Magolo, while applying for lenient bail terms.

The prosecution said the suspect should be held in police custody because he had expressed fears over his life.

“For his personal security, which is at risk, and he no longer walk freely, we apply that we continue holding the suspect in custody,” said the prosecution counsel.

Magolo challenged the prosecution’s argument saying the claim about his client’s life being in danger should have been captured in a sworn affidavit by the suspect.

“The prosecution has no evidence to express that the suspect is living in fear. There’s no sworn affidavit to support those assertions. Therefore, there is no reason to continue holding him,” said Magolo.

The Standard 8 pupil in question was picked up by Njenga from school on Monday last week after he received an online request to drop him home.

According to the boy’s family, the taxi driver allegedly parked the car on the roadside, a few metres from the boy’s home.

He then undressed the young boy and forced him to perform oral sex on him, the court was told.

The boy later narrated what had happened to him to his parents who reported the matter to Nyali Police Station.

Last Tuesday, police officers tracked Njenga using his phone signal and traced him to Nyali Mall where he was arrested at around 10am.

Fellow taxi drivers operating in Mombasa however said Njenga had a clean record.

“He has worked for Uber for more than three years. He has over 9,000 trips and 4.7-star rating. Why would he now do such an act?” a colleague posed.

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