The Mijikenda elders in Kilifi County have warned men out to ruin the lives of young girls by impregnating them that will spell a curse against them if they don’t desist from the habit.
The elders made the remarks on Wednesday at the Malindi District Cultural Centre (MADCA) where they had congregated for special prayers.
They lamented that teenage pregnancies in the County had reached alarming levels and that if a curse is not imposed on perpetrators, then the current and future generations were doomed.
“We are warning those who are preying on our girls that they either stop the habit or get life threatening curses that will ruin their peace throughout their lives,” warned Mzee Stanley Kenga from Kaya Ribe.
He wondered why even teachers were engaging in the vice instead of undertaking their educational roles and imparting morals in the young minds.
The calls by elders come following an increase in the number of reported cases of teenage pregnancies by Kilifi County government. According to the report some 17,000 teenage pregnancy cases have been reported in the county in the recent past.
The Chairman of the Mijikenda Kaya Elders Association, Mzee Tsuma Nzai said the modern lifestyles and digital evolution was partly to blame for the sad scenario and cautioned the government against rushing to ban discos in funerals and weddings before carrying out a proper research on the topic.
“We welcome the government’s efforts in combating the scourge but again it should be clear that banning some activities on the pretext of fighting early pregnancies will not help because such ceremonies existed even before I was born and there were no teenage pregnancies then. Nowadays children use the internet and phones to communicate,” he said.
Mzee Nzai urged the national and county governments to work closely with the elders so that they can pass the correct information to parents and their children.
Speaking during County Development Implementation Committee meeting, Kilifi County Commissioner (CC), Magu Mutindika said, the national government plan to ban burial ceremonies on Saturdays and Sundays because it is after attending the same that many girls are seduced, sexually abused and subsequently conceive.
He said his office is consulting with other stakeholders in education before the ban of burial ceremonies on weekends is effected, adding that it is meant to reduce teenage pregnancies in the County.
By Simon Guruba