The Court of Appeal has agreed with Justice Mumbi Ngugi’s ruling that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should compensate two minors who were defiled by their headteacher.
The commission had contested a High Court award of Sh5 million to the girls on grounds that the lower court erred when it associated it with the criminal act.
But Appellate judges Roselyn Nambuye, Martha Koome and Fatuma Sichale declined to set aside the award by the High Court, saying TSC has to ensure minors have a safe learning environment.
They agreed with the High Court that TSC, by entrusting a school headteacher with the education of two girls whom he defiled, was equally to blame for not having safeguards to ensure the said teacher did not abuse the minors.
“As innocent victims, the minors are entitled to compensation for having been subjected to such humiliation, shame, and pain that may have a lifelong effect on them. It is inconceivable how the minors in their tender years are made to carry that kind of burden of shame due to selfishness of a caregiver,” Justice Koome said.
The case was filed by two parents from Nakuru County where both incidents occurred. They were especially aggrieved by the fact that the deputy headteacher was set free.
A report filed by a child therapist to support the case noted that the sex abuse had taken a toll on the girls and they had to undergo special counselling. One of the girls had to drop out of school.
“I award Sh2 million for the first girl and Sh3 million for the second girl who dropped out of school. I, therefore, direct that the above awards, upon payment, be deposited in an interest-earning account in trust for them and be utilised to further their education or training with a view to their being able to make a sustainable living for themselves,” Justice Ngugi ruled.
The funds are to be spent on their education until they complete university studies.