When Rasto Otuya, 95, walked out of the Kakamega Prison on Monday, into the sunlight and arms of his family, he became one of the most unlikely prisoners to be freed on good conduct.
Mr Otuya who hails from Mundika, Khwisero was sentenced for life at the age of 87 after being found guilty of defiling a 10-year-old girl in 2012; a crime he maintains he never committed.
He appealed his conviction at the High Court and the sentence was reduced to 10 years.
The nonagenarian insists that the charges were imposed on him due to a grudge with the complainant's family.
“The court ruling took place a week before the medical report came out and it indicated that I did not infect the minor with any sexually transmitted disease contrary to the initial evidence provided,” he said.
He added; “I thank God for granting me back my freedom. Since I got out of prison, I have slept like a baby knowing the nightmare of prison is over. I have never slept like these for the last seven years, you can’t be in prison and have peace of mind,” he said adding that his staunch belief in God is what saved him.
His family warmly welcomed him insisting that he was framed. His nephew, Gilbert Omukunda said he was with his uncle when he was arrested and even accompanied him to the police station.
“We have been praying for his freedom and I am happy he’s back healthy and we will accord him the support he needs,” he said.
His brother, James Okello was delighted on getting news of his release. “I am happy he’s back home. I could not visit or help him despite having been a prison officer since my legs are paralysed. God fought for him and I am happy he is back home,” Okello said.
His grandchild, Fanuel Omukunda said that every time they paid him a visit he always promised to come home soon.
“What he needs now is peace of mind, food and constant communication with his family members,” he said.
At the Kakamega Prison, Otuya was described as diligent was even made the leader of the inmates.
The officer-in-charge of Kakamega Prison Henry Ochieng said Otuya was a trustee while in prison before being set free.
“While in custody, he was disciplined and worked under minimal supervision. During his sentence service, he demonstrated good conduct and change of character. He was the leader of other prisoners and was among the trusted inmates,” Ochieng said.