Children’s Magistrate in Machakos law courts has warned the residents from concealing defilement cases that are destroying the future of the children.
Mary Otindo noted that courts have realized that there are defilement cases and early marriages that go unreported and are still affecting children.
“Many defilement cases and early marriages are not reported in courts, they are being handled by relatives and few local administrators. Let them be warned that they are violating children’s rights and they won’t be spared,” said Otindo.
She made the remarks Friday during the Day of the African Child, at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos town in which over 600 students from 38 Schools in Machakos were in attendance.
Otindo also noted that it is against the law for any parent to deny education to a child below 18 years and force them into employment as that amounts to child labor which is punishable by the law.
“Any parent who will not educate her child and get them employment will face the law, that is child labor, and should come to an end with immediate effect,” warned Otindo.
She also warned those parents who are forcing their children to get married at an early.
“It has come to our attention that there are some people who are forcing their children to get married in order for them to be given money, this is punishable by the law and should come to an end,” Otindo said.
She said that they will partner with all relevant authorities to ensure that children in Machakos sub-county get all the basic needs.
“It is the right for every child to get all the basic needs as stipulated in the constitution, no one should violate them at all, and those who are introducing children to gang activities we are coming for you,” added Otindo.
Salome Muthama, who is the Machakos County Coordinator for children’s Services was present and urged parents not to be intimidated by anyone when their children go through some injustices but to instead stand firm and defend their children.
“Parents should be the first defenders of their children and they should take the initiative of protecting their children at whatever cost,” added Muthama.
Emily Kimanzi who is the Machakos Sub County Children officer warned those parents who neglect their children that they will face the full force of the law.
Added that a child is the responsibility of both parents, not just one. Each parent should cater to the child’s needs or they will have a case to answer.
The day of the African Child is celebrated internationally every year on June 16th, to commemorate the 16th June 1976 uprising in Soweto South Africa where black children were protesting poor quality education and many were killed.
By Anne Kangero and Benson Mutiso