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Former teacher narrates how he paid for defiling his pupil after 15-year jail term

A former primary school teacher who was jailed for 15 years for defiling a pupil has narrated his ordeal after he was set free from the Shikusa prison in Kakamega County.

Mr Linatus Lutta Matuli, 56, was released from prison on Wednesday and said he felt at peace and that he had paid the price for ending up sexually assaulting his pupil in a primary school in Bungoma County.

The offence saw him lose his job and end as a pariah in his village after he lured the girl into his house in Kamkuywa before defiling her.

He got into trouble after his colleagues at the school learnt of the incident and reported the matter to head teacher, leading to his arrest and interdiction.

His ordeal started after he was arrested and charged in court and was convicted before being sent to jail.

After his release, Mr Matuli from Siangalambo village, near Kimilili town in Bungoma County said: “I have learnt a lot while in prison and made peace with myself for what happened. My plan is get home and start a poultry farming project for a livelihood.”

“My wife has been visiting me regularly at the Shikusa prison and my family will be happy to see me back home,” said Mr Matuli shortly after the officer in charge Mr Samuel Chepkonga broke the good news to him.

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At first, he stared in disbelief after officials at the Shikusa prison approached him and informed him that the time had come for his release.

Despite the smile on his face, Mr Matuli looked weary and withdrawn.

He spoke softly and kept staring around him as if in disbelief even after the officers at the prison had signed his discharge certificate and handed it to him.

“I had been preparing for this day but when it came, I was still trying to reconcile myself to the moment. I couldn’t believe that finally, my time to walk out of the prison gates and have a taste of freedom had come,” said Mr Matuli.

The father of six – five boys and girl – said he was excited to be going home to reunite with his wife and children.

“I’m excited to be going home to join my family. When I was arrested, my children were young but my wife tells me that our last born has joined Form One while the rest are in college,” said Mr Lutta as he prepared to travel home after being released from prison.

Two of his children have joined university with the support of relatives while his daughter is in college.

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A discharge certificate from the prison indicated that Mr Matuli was convicted by the Kimilili Principal Magistrate on June 13 2013 for committing the offence of defilement.

He started serving the sentence on October 26, 2015. In their recommendation, the prison authorities at Shikusa described him as fully rehabilitated after completing his sentence and had gained skills in carpentry and joinery.

“He has further been trained in life skills, guiding and counselling, theology and anger management,” said the prison authorities in the recommendations captured in the discharge certificate.

Mr Matuli served his sentence at the Bungoma Prison before he was transferred to the Shikusa Maximum Security Prison in Kisumu where he says life was tough for him and other inmates.

In 2018, he was transferred to the Shikusa Farm prison in Kakamega.

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Mr Benbela Oyalo, the country representative of Jesus Freedom Ministry, an organization providing support to inmates and helping in their rehabilitation after they had served their sentences received the inmate and made arrangements for him to travel to his rural village.

“We have provided him with some clothes and carpentry tools to enable him settle down when he gets home. He is now a reformed man and has shown great remorse for what happened,” said Mr Oyalo.

Mr Matuli arrived home to a rapturous welcome from relatives and neighbours. They sang songs and danced after conducting a special prayer for him

“I’m so overjoyed to be back to be back with my family after year 15 years. A lot has changed but I’m ready to pick up from where I left,” said Mr Matuli.

He said besides the skills he had learnt while serving the sentence, he had managed to pull through the tough times in prison after he decided to turn to God.

“I’m now born again and I have decided to commit my life to God and walk in his righteous way. My stay in prison has taught me many things and this is what I have decided to commit mu life to him,” said Mr Matuli.

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