Una vita in Africa – A life in Africa Rotating Header Image

August 23rd, 2009:

Custode di mio Fratello – My brother’s Keeper

The following text has been written by Father John Webootsa, a Comboni Missionary from Kenya, and will appear in the next issue of New People (Sept. – Oct. 2009), where he has a regular column. Father John has fought on my side in this time of trials. and I am very grateful to him.

In this column, this time I would like to share with you my experience that I can say should be a test of my brotherly solidarity to a confrère. On 15th June 2009 evening a friend of mine called me and told me that there was a report on the KTN evening prime time news indicting Fr. Kizito Renato Sesana for alleged sexual abuse of children under his charge at the Koinonia Centre. My brotherly solidarity impelled me to get interested in the case. Immediately after that, without using exhaustive journalistic investigative efforts, most of the other media outlets jumped into the fray without a thought or consequences. The basis on which the story was broken according to emerging facts is that a certain group of individuals was parading ‘some children purported to have been sexually abused by their charge, Fr. Kizito’ and made allegations against the priest, claiming the paraded children to be victims of this horrible crime. Comprehensive police investigations cleared Fr. Kizito of any alleged sexual child abuses in his capacity at the Koinonia community. The police results bring into question the motives of the allegations’ architects and those of the media house that was instrumental in breaking the “false bad news” that eventually reached the headlines of many media houses. One can also question the motives and sincerity of some legislators like Bonny Khalwale and Millie Odhiambo for jumping into the allegations before doing exhaustive research to establish the truth and also the motives behind the allegations being levelled at someone who had served in the country for more than twenty years without taking advantage of anyone under his care.
Fr. Kizito’s innocence also comes hotly on the heels of another suit filed by some two disgruntled officials of the centre, who in their “affidavit” use the allegations as reasons as to why the High Court should block Fr. Kizito not only from running the institution he founded but also accessing and managing its funds in the Institution’s bank accounts. Ironically the funds running the institution as well as those that constructed it, including purchase of the land on which Koinonia Centre is built, were sourced literally and solely by Fr. Kizito’s benefactors, some of whom believed or were about to believe the hoax.
The police spokesman, Eric Kiraithe, has been very cooperative in the effort to establish the truth. According to him the police had since the eruption of the sensational allegations against the priest conducted intensive and comprehensive investigations into the serious and highly defamatory allegations and released the results. The police found him innocent. Now it remains to be established what was the motive behind the orchestration of this sensational saga that has increasingly emerged as a major media fraud. Mr. Kiraithe declared: “Investigations launched into sexual allegations against Fr. Kizito are now complete and my officers found completely no evidence implicating him in any improprieties either directly or indirectly and even remotely…None.”
According to journalistic professional ethics entrenched into the Media Act 2007, with such allegations levelled at anybody, irrespective of his/her status in society, it was the duty of the reporter and the editor to ensure that the ‘accused’ person was apprised of the allegations and given a right of reply before the story was aired. Was this done?

Italiano English
This blog is multi language by p.osting.it's Babel