Leaders from Narok County have lauded the judiciary for imposing a stern punishment to culprits of child abuse.
This follows a recent case where a Narok court sentenced an elderly man to life imprisonment for defiling and marrying a ten-year-old girl at Entasenkera area in Narok South Sub County.
Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde, Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ngeno and his Kilgoris counterpart Julius Sunkuli said the sentencing is a big move towards fighting the retrogressive culture that has seen many girls drop out of school.
Masinde recalled that in the year 2022, about 741 school going children were pregnant, among them 248 candidates who sat for the national examination.
“Today I feel energized to continue fighting the retrogressive culture. This is a big step towards ensuring that the girl child is protected from any cultural harm,” he said.
He refuted information on the social media that the man sentenced to life imprisonment was a Tanzanian saying the man has been identified by the local chief and has a Kenyan Identity card.
“There are so many Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that advocate for child protection in the grassroots yet the practice is still common. I believe every person in this country has the information that early marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime,” he said.
At the same time, the county commissioner sounded a stern warning to officers who collaborate with culprits of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to hide evidence to be used in court of law.
He cited a recent example where a clinical officer in the county collaborated with culprits of FGM to hide evidence by writing a report that indicated a girl had not undergone the cut, yet upon being examined in another hospital, the same girl was confirmed to have undergone FGM.
Masinde observed they have an intelligence report that some medics are hired to circumcise girls in their individual homes saying their days are numbered as they will be sacked and prosecuted in court of law.
On his part, Ngeno condemned the heinous act saying the courts played their role in a professional manner to warn members of the society with such ill-motives that the courts will not be lenient.
“I warn the people from my constituency never to call me when arrested because of child abuse cases because I will ensure they are prosecuted and punished severely. I better lose politically but protect our girls,” he said.
Sunkuli also called for more sensitization on the ground so as to inform the people on the stern punishment that comes with subjecting their girls to early marriage.
“Our people should know that some retrogressive cultures are outdated and illegal. Just as we stopped killing lions, we should also stop subjecting our girls to early marriage and FGM,” said Sunkuli.
By Ann Salaton