High Court Judge John Mativo

A high school student who was stripped by police for being in possession of bhang in 2015 is laughing all the way to the bank. This is after a Nairobi High Court ordered for her compensation.

The eighteen-year-old girl from Kanyama Secondary School in Karatina was among 45 other students who were arrested in a Nairobi-bound bus after police received a tip-off from the public that the students, who were traveling for the August holidays, were allegedly intoxicated and engaging in sexual activities.

The girl was found with four rolls of bhang, valued at Sh80, hidden in her underwear, with the police shooting themselves in the foot by photographing the ‘evidence.’

The girl’s semi-nude pictures were shared on social media resulting in a public uproar and a lawsuit filed jointly by the girl’s parents and a children rights lobby -CRADLE Children’s Foundation.

The NGO demanded Sh 7 million as compensation for the violation of the girl’s right to privacy, human dignity, security, access to justice and the right of an accused person.

But High Court Judge John Mativo has awarded the girl Sh 4 Million. He condemned the action by the police, noting that dignity is justiciable and enforceable and should be respected by all.

The Court, however, declined to revoke the girl’s conviction for being in possession of bhang.

The girl was arraigned in a Baricho Magistrates Court in Kirinyaga where she pleaded guilty and convicted to serve 18 months probation.