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A Popular Kenyan Radio Host Blamed An Alleged Rape Victim And Kenyans Didn't Like It

He tried to walk it back, deleted his tweet and apologized to some of his critics.

Posted on March 23, 2015, at 7:44 a.m. ET

A Kenyan Parliament member (MP) has been accused of raping a woman who worked for him. The news broke on Monday and a popular Kenyan radio host known as Churchill had questions.

The victim-blaming language in Churchill's question didn't sit well with Kenyans on Twitter. Their first reaction: Really?

Are you for real?? RT @MwalimChurchill #JustAsking....So, a MARRIED WOMAN agrees to meet a honorable MALE MP at 10:30 pm?... ALONE ...?

@MwalimChurchill is this question for real?

@MwalimChurchill for real? Just lost all the respect I had for you. Such a shame


Some fought the victim-blaming premise.

. @MwalimChurchill does that make it okay for the M.P to rape her? You should be ashamed.

@elvohh @Eunicekkilonzo @MwalimChurchill Does nite time make some one less human? If you can rape at nite, u can rape in the daytime too.

@mwalimchurchill Time does not make a leader to assault women.Even if it was 2Am, He should not have raped her, SAD!

@MwalimChurchill wld the qs change if she was a single woman? Is this a question u'd ask s'one who comes 2 u for help if they've been raped?


@MwalimChurchill So married women who meet honorable men after 9 PM should be raped?or what are you insinuating?

@MwalimChurchill Whether it was at midnight or 10am in the monring,the MP should not have assaulted the lady. That is the bottom line

Some sought to educate the host.

@mwalimchurchill such a careless statement

@MwalimChurchill This tweet bespeaks a #sexist attitude.It implies impropriety on the part of the lady!A rape allegation is a crime period!


@MwalimChurchill #JustAsking...... Are you sure that is the question you should be asking? Are you in anyway insinuating she's to blame?

Boss, you've crossed the line"@MwalimChurchill: #JustAsking....So, a MARRIED WOMAN agrees to meet a honorable MALE MP at 10:30 pm?... ALONE?

Churchill responded. He clarified his tweet — or he walked it back, depending on your perspective.

@Livelife120 If the MP Raped her, it is wrong wrong wrong, no argument about it

That MP tweet wasn't meant to condone or justify RAPE under any circumstances,but to initiate a conversation that CONDEMNS it-so let's talk!


He also blocked some of his critics.

can somebody take a screenshot on @MwalimChurchill timeline today for that tweet please. have been blocked.

He apologized to others.

I am truly sorry if that tweet rubbed you the wrong way- that was not the intention @loyugic @ThatWestNiler @Eunicekkilonzo

And he deleted the tweet.

Some wondered whether media sensationalism was a ratings strategy — and where the limits should be.

@Njokiwamai @MwalimChurchill disagree. Radio station knows exactly what they is doing here.


@MwalimChurchill wen u have ur planning meeting who says guys - this is too much, I can't live with myself peddling this madness?

Not everyone believed it was a misunderstanding, or that the apology for "rubbing [people] the wrong way" was enough. Others suspected it was outright disingenuous.

@MwalimChurchill your tweet was sent with complete disregard to the victim..Your apology...too little too late..."

@MwalimChurchill No. That MP tweet did justify and condone rape very clearly. have you deleted it?

And there were those who thought they got his meaning the first time.

A nice Qn which will get you scolded ''@MwalimChurchill So, a MARRIED WOMAN agrees to meet a honorable MALE MP at 10:30 pm?... ALONE ...?''


The Woman needs stoning, Unfaithful b**** "@MwalimChurchill: So, a MARRIED WOMAN agrees to meet a honorable MALE MP at 10:30 pm?... ALONE ?"

Even those who didn't question the apology had mixed reactions.

It's so easy to get misunderstood nowadays especially when all most people do is assume. cc @MwalimChurchill

@Deeakinyi @MwalimChurchill It's also very good for people not to joke around violence on women esp RAPE.

Churchill moved on.


But the flare-up is the latest in a series of events that has Kenya confronting and debating women's rights.

A year ago, debate erupted after the Kenyan parliament passed a polygamy law. Last June, rural Kenyans took to the streets to demand justice for a 16-year-old gang-rape victim.

And in November, women in Nairobi organized a "mini-skirt rally" after a series of attacks on female bus customers who male co-passengers thought weren't "appropriately" dressed. They organized around the hashtag #MyDressMyChoice, which has outlived the rally — getting picked up, for example, by the World Bank — and even seems to have played a role in accountability for the alleged attacks by Kenyan prosecutors and courts.

#MyDressMyChoice: 48.2% of Kenyan women feared a household member could be sexually harassed:

But every time these stories hit big, there's a real and difficult debate, one that's really about women's agency and autonomy.

@Nicxso @MwalimChurchill The question is very valid btw... if she's married, where was the hubby? He ought to protect her.

@Deeakinyi @MwalimChurchill How do we know if the husband wasnt aware where she was?

@Nicxso @MwalimChurchill Someone who calls himself your husband. Should be aware of your where abouts.

You know, the same debate women's rights are subjected to all over the world.

Women at a rally in Nairobi in November.
Simon Maina / Getty Images

Women at a rally in Nairobi in November.