I vividly remember September 6, 2015, at 10:30 am when i was arrested and taken to Kimbo police station where I stayed for three days and later taken to Makadara Law Courts. It’s a harrowing experience that completely changed my life. 

My name is Joel Musyoki and my life took a u-turn since that day. Life normally has ups and downs but the last four years have been the most difficult after i was sent to prison for a crime I barely knew about. 

A scorned client decided to settle scores  

I’m a businessman man and used to distribute milk to your local kiosk vendor and in my line of duty, I interacted with almost every person in Githurai and Kasarani. That’s how i fended for my family since I'm blessed with a wife and a daughter.  

It’s in my line of work that I met Annie, the woman who would later frame me with the rape of her daughter. 

She attempted to befriend me as I regularly delivered milk in Githurai. The lady would frequently ask me to buy her lunch which i would even give her Ksh 100 or 200 if i had the money. She even had the guts to ask for money from me in the presence of my wife who told her off. 

Jon Cautioned me about Annie 

My friend John, who is also in the milk business warned me about Annie. He explained to me that she sold Muguka (a form of Khat that is popular in Nairobi) at the Githurai stage. I stopped being too friendly with her and delegated one of the boys who sold milk for me to be distributing it in that area.

She later got my number from another milk supplier and only called when she wanted money from me. I resorted to blocking her because I concluded she was a gold digger after the little money I was making. That is when my troubles began. 

Apprehended 6 months later 

Six months later I was arrested and taken to jail. When I stood before the court, the court clerk read my charges and my soul crashed for a minute. Although the police had questioned me I maintained my innocence. I was charged with defilement of a minor. A girl child that I knew nothing about.

I spent four months in remand before coming back again for the mentioning of my case. The Magistrate gave me a Ksh 500,000 bail which I contested and lost.

The prosecution argued that I was a flight risk and the magistrate ruled that I would stay in custody until my case was done. This began my four-year journey at the Industrial Area Prison. Life behind bars is difficult. You get sick. You become depressed.

My life behind bars Industrial Area Prison

I was depressed. I told my siblings not to bring my parents there. I did not want my father to see me like that. I did not want to see the disappointment in my mother's eyes. I broke up with my girlfriend but she still came to visit me. She showed up in court every time.

I had a lawyer whom I later fired when he was spotted by my sisters speaking to Annie after one of my court appearances. I did not trust him. I did not trust anyone. I decided to educate myself on everything about my case.

In prison, the one thing you have is time and this I had in plenty. I read extensively on defilement cases. Most people thought I was insane for saying no to a professional. I wasn't. I heard enough stories of how lawyers had coerced their clients into making deals yet one was innocent.

I prayed day and night like all the other prisoners in jail. I had terrible moments and became impatient at times when the court would delay supplying me with important documents. A fellow prisoner, Joshua, who is a lawyer helped me understand what those documents said. He trained me on what questions to ask in court.

Woman framed me for rape, I was jailed for 3 years - Nairobi businessman opens up

Landmark Ruling in my case on February 2019 

The courtroom was cleared in March 2018, and for the first time in my life I came face to face with the young girl who claimed I had defiled her. I cannot describe that moment. I was hurt. In my opinion, she had been coached on what to say. 

Medical evaluations done on the child showed that she had been defiled. However, DNA samples that had been taken from her did not match mine. This is what set me free. The courts established that the time the child was defiled I was not around the area.

In February 2019, all charges against me were dismissed and I was acquitted. However, I was not satisfied since I knew that a child had been raped and the mother wanted me to be the fall guy.

I walked out of prison and my family pleaded with me to put the whole ordeal behind me. Trying to rebuild my life is the toughest bit about my post-prison life. My business collapsed and now I'm back to square one. Some of the people who know me still have a hard time doing business with me.