Why judge ordered a retrial for rugby players convicted of gang-raping musician

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 30 Jun, 2020 17:47 | 2 mins read
rugby players
Rugby players Alex Olaba and Frank Wanyama in court last year.
Rugby players Alex Olaba and Frank Wanyama in court last year.

Two rugby players, Alex Olaba, 23, and Frank Wanyama, 22, have been given a reprieve after High Court ordered their retrial in a case they had been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The two were handed the heavy sentence by Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku who convicted them for rape in August 2019.

They were convicted of gang-raping a musician on February 10, 2018, at a house party at Seefar Apartments in Nyayo High Rise buildings.

Section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act of 2006 states that any person found guilty of gang-rape is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 15 years.

But High Court Judge Grace Ngenye Macharia directed a repeat trial for the two after they successfully appealed. 

The judge in her ruling said that one of the witnesses gave unsworn evidence, therefore, the whole trial is a nullity.

They had pleaded for non-custodial sentence after the conviction, through a lawyer. 

They said through their lawyer that they were all drunk and the 24—year old-woman had elected to spend the night at the apartment because she was drunk and later tried to extort money from them.

The events that led to their incarceration started at a party in Spring Valley.

The complainant, a musician, said one of the players lured her to his house after they left the party.

She claimed the two later raped her in turns as she remained in and out of consciousness.

The lawyer said that one of them, who was a student at Strathmore University students, had secured a scholarship at a Canadian University while the other had entered into a contract with a club in Helsinki, Finland.

The duo has represented the national seven-a-side team, Shujaa. 

Olaba and Wanyama started their rugby careers at Strathmore University with Strathmore Leos before switching to Kenya Harlequins.

They have been in jail since August last year when they were sentenced.