The University of Nairobi (UoN) management has bowed to pressure and issued an apology over the callous memo that has been circulated on social media blaming female students for being raped.
The memo dated February 24 detailed claims by students over insecurity and rape in the institution with several recommendations by the institution indicating that the students’ behaviour was the reason for the rape cases.
For instance, it stated that the female students were to be blamed for the three cases of rape reported and directed them to be at social places in the company of trusted friends and to avoid attending social functions without a clear agenda.
It emphasized that students should avoid receiving sweets and opened drinks from strangers.
However, the Institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Kiama issued an apology after the memo outraged netizens.
Kiama has acknowledged that the memo was insensitive and did not represent the values of the institution and further urged students to heed to the relevant safety and security authorities whenever they have issues in regards to the same.
“I have noted that the memo was insensitive and does not represent the corporate values and image of the University of Nairobi, and is highly regretted. This is, therefore, to assure all students of our commitment to protect and take care of them at all times. Students ate always advised to call the Directorate of Security and Safety Service whenever they are faced with security challenges during day and night,” read the memo.
Following the details of the first memo, a group of activists and human rights’ groups did not shy away from expressing their disappointment as they alluded that the Institution was advocating for and perpetuating a rape culture instead of delivering justice and addressing the issues at hand.
Others have indicated that the apology from the Vice-Chancellor is not enough as more needed to be done.
A Facebook group has encouraged students to come out and speak openly about the rape allegations, with the promises that the matter would be followed to the latter.
Here are some of the reactions:
Young students are raped in the middle of Nairobi City County.
— Original RAO (@RobertAlai) February 25, 2020
A whole University of Nairobi (@uonbi ) can blame rape victims for the sexual violence they've endured.
Let that sink in.
And that memo, from THE UON, can remain unaddressed for hours. As in Since yesterday, up until a few min ago, UON did not see it fit to address the matter. pic.twitter.com/itjWBbj17n
— www.jchelagat.com (NyarBaringo) (@jchelagat) February 26, 2020
University of Nairobi would like you to know that in 3 recent cases where female students were robbed and/or raped, it was due to their recklessness.
Their advice on what to do in Social places includes not leaving drinks unattended etc.
What it doesn’t include:
Don’t rape. pic.twitter.com/d6QMoeOXoM
— Samira Sawlani (@samirasawlani) February 25, 2020
The university of Nairobi should be ashamed wtf is this memo!!!! Victim blaming is really what you're going with!!!!! https://t.co/nAcEGBYssB
— High-key Goddess (@Aquela_Bruxa) February 25, 2020