Leaders from Bungoma County including the clergy, non-governmental organizations and youth organizations have raised alarm over the surge in cases of defilement of minors by close relatives including their fathers.
Speaking to the press, Milsane Kiplai, the County Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Coordinator blamed parents and guardians for neglecting their children.
Kiplai says that some parents have abdicated their parental roles and left their children to fend for themselves making many boys to run to the streets while very young girls (minors) have been turned into hawkers.
She said parents should work closely with the Children’s Department, the church, youth organizations and the school to ensure that their children attend school regularly and embrace good moral values.
She appealed to mothers to watch over their young children jealously to ensure that they leave no loop hole for defilement from their closest relatives whom they least suspect.
“Bungoma County has recorded a high number of incest and defilement cases committed by close relatives who include biological fathers. It is my humble appeal to mothers to be careful and understand their husbands very well before leaving their girls alone at home with them,” she said.
In 2019, defilement cases made up a substantial per cent of all the cases that were being dispensed at the courts.
However, Kiplai noted that the Children’s office doesn’t receive reports of all defilement cases as they happen.
She said a big number of such cases ended up in kangaroo courts where parents were paid off to keep quiet.
Tracyter Mutala, a youth advocate in Bungoma County urged school heads to set up guiding and counseling departments in schools so that learners could be taught life skills.
“Youths should be sensitized on reproductive health so that they are well equipped to do the right thing when faced with threatening situations, she noted.
By Godfrey Wanjala