The Kajiado County Commissioner (CC), David Kipkemei has called upon political leaders, professionals and church leaders to spearhead the war against early marriages and Female Genital Mutilation. (FGM).
According to the CC, the menace has continued to cloud the future of many girls in the County as they were forced to drop out of school.
“At least 55 candidates failed to turn up for their KCSE examinations at their examination centers across the County. Another 199 did not sit for their KCPE, more than half of them being girls. We are following closely because we are suspecting that early marriage could be the most likely reason as to why the high number of girls didn’t sit for the exams,” Kipkemei noted.
He was speaking in Namanga Police Station on Wednesday where he oversaw the opening of the exam container on day 3 of the national examinations.
Although security officials have arrested several individuals in connection with FGM and early marriages, the Commissioner emphasized his commitment to ensure that all perpetrators were brought to book.
“The Constitution has set out clearly the rights of our children that should be accorded and in that respect, I will be very harsh on the individuals that are still practicing this outdated culture including those that have sought refuge in the neighbouring country Tanzania because after all, they will come back,” Kipkemei affirmed.
The CC recently rescued a Standard eight candidate from Mailwa area of Matapato South from being married off to a thirty year old man.
The girl who was supposed to sit for her Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) failed to show up for the rehearsals prompting the area chief and security officials to conduct a search.
Kipkemei further lauded examination officials across the 168 KCSE examination centers in the county for their diligent work with no cases of cheating or irregularity being reported so far.
He added that security has been given top priority to ensure that examination integrity is achieved.
“I want to warn rogue individuals who still want to manipulate the integrity of the exams that we shall deal with them firmly as required by law,” Kipkemei said.
By Rop Janet/Albert Lemomo