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Athletes demonstration in Machakos over GBV

The Southern Region Athletic Team has had a peaceful demonstration in Machakos town to demand   for justice over the murder of one of their own, Damaris Muthee, in Iten Elgeyo Marakwet County and the increase in Gender-based Violence (GBV) among athletes.                                                                   

James Mutua, an athletic official and one of the organizers of the demonstrations, while speaking to the media in Machakos town, Thursday, said the sportsmen and women had a peaceful demonstrations in solidarity to express grief over the murder of Damaris Muthee in Iten.

“We are asking for justice for her senseless death because she was one of us and was very talented,” said Mutua.

Mutua said they demand justice because they knew Damaris since she was in Class Seven, as she was starting her career as an athlete at the athletic camp in Machakos until the time she relocated to represent Bahrain.

He said she was young and ambitious and they had hoped she would become a world champion.

Mutua and his colleagues requested the government to intervene and arrest the culprit who is responsible for her death.

He noted that one of the major challenges for athletes is  that most of them are  from  humble  backgrounds where some lack shoes for practicing, clothes, and even basic needs, including education.

“Most athletes come from vulnerable families where they lack food, basic needs, and some require us to pay for their education when in school,” added Mr. Mutua.

The move by athletes who are drawn from Machakos, Makueni, and Kitui counties comes two days after the murder of Kenyan born Bahrain athlete, Damaris Muthee Mutua 28.

The body of Damaris who holds dual Kenyan-Bahrain nationality, was found decomposing in a house in Iten and reports by police investigators say her Ethiopian boyfriend who was training at the same facility, is the main suspect and has since fled Kenya.

So far the town of Iten has had two murders of female athletes in less than a year.

Some of the Southern Region Athletes outside Machakos Law Courts in Machakos County as they embark on their peaceful demonstrations around town

Damaris’ murder follows the killing of another athlete, Agnes Tirop, in October 2020 after returning from Tokyo, where she had finished fourth in the 5,000m at the Olympic Games.

Tirop’s body was discovered at her home with stab wounds and her husband, Ibrahim Rotich, was arrested, with police saying he was attempting to flee the country.

 

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