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Girl rescued from early marriage

The 40-year-old, John Nchoe (centre) being led into police cells for marrying a nine-year-old girl contrary to the law on Monday July 15, 2019. Photo by KNA.

Drama  ensued at Oloontoto village in Narok North on Monday evening when armed police officers from Narok Police Station and a Child right’s activist led a sting operation that successfully led to the rescue of a 9 year old girl from the manyatta of a 40 year old man.

The well planned evening raid was however met with resistance by relatives of the man as the woman believed to be his mother tried to resist the arrest of her son and shouted insults to the rescue team.

Joshua Ole Kaputa, a children’s rights crusader who tipped the police is said to have warned John Nchoe through his brothers against marrying the nine-year-old with no success.

The  minor who is said to have been married to Nchoe for a week was nabbed by armed female and male police officers from their honeymoon manyatta.

The two were then led to a waiting police van thereafter taken to Narok Police station for further interrogation.

The tense minor who spoke in Maa said she had tried to refuse being married off as she wanted to pursue education but all in vain.

Nchoe who looked unremorseful said he had paid dowry and that his parents in-law had consented to the marriage.

Ole Kaputa  who is also the Narok’s peace ambassador made a passionate appeal to Maasai community in Narok to end the old and outdated culture in order to empower the girl child just like in other Counties.

Narok County has 40 per cent early pregnancy cases among girls partly due to the outdated culture of female genital mutilation and subsequent early marriage. Besides girls dropout rate from school is also one of the highest in the country.

The practice continues despite the government outlawing child marriages and FGM.

By  Mabel Keya-Shikuku

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