Poet Shailja Patel, who accused journalist and caricature artist Tony Mochama of sexual assault and ordered to pay him Ksh9 million has left the country.

According to Ms Patel, the self-imposed exile was due to the ruling delivered by Senior principal magistrate Margaret Obura that exonerated Mochama of any wrongdoing in the sexual harassment case.

The magistrate said there was no concrete evidence that Mochama molested or sexually assaulted Ms Patel and Professor Wambui Mwangi at a poetry party in Loresho.

Journalist and caricature artist Tony Mochama
Journalist and caricature artist Tony Mochama

"I've left Kenya. I've gone into exile, knowing I face jail if I ever come home. Tony Mochama and Wanjeri Nderu-Musembi will not silence me," Ms Patel announced.

Accusing judge

Announcing her self imposed exile, Ms Patel said accused the magistrate, Mochama and Ms Wa Wanjeri Nderu of silencing women who come forward and speak on sexual assault.

"Tony Mochama and his partners-in-crime, Wanjeri Nderu-Musembi and magistrate A.M. Obura, delivered yet another beating to women... a beating chillingly intended to silence all Kenyan women about sexual violence. Forever," she tweeted.

"Tony Mochama and Wanjeri Nderu-Musembi *need* to silence me permanently on Tony Mochama's sexual assaults, obstruction of justice, abuse of the judicial process; on Wanjeri Nderu-Musembi's lies to the police and perjury under oath in court. Hence the gag injunction," she continued.

Poet Shailja Patel
Poet Shailja Patel

She further accused the three of plotting to silence her and curtail any possible rise of a movement of Kenyan women speaking like the #MeToo movement in the USA.

The court awarded Mochama Ksh9 million damages after it found that he was defamed by two women who accused him of sexual harassment.