Chiefs and their assistants found condoning early marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in their areas of jurisdiction in Moyale County will be dealt with accordingly
Area children officer Richard Ndirangu, said cases of early marriages and teenage pregnancies have been on the rise, especially after the closure of schools following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ndirangu who was speaking to KNA in his office today has asked village managers and the members of Nyumba KUMI to report all cases to their respective Chiefs or any other authorities so that the perpetrators can be arrested and charged.
He was however quick to say that if the chiefs do not take any action his office was open and any retrogressive cultural rite performed to children can be reported to him directly.
“All cases of early marriages, Female genital Mutilation and child trafficking which is rampant along the Kenya-Ethiopia common border must be reported immediately and possibly if there are some school girls who have fallen pregnant in your area and you have not reported, then we will hold you responsible,” Ndirangu said
The Children officer said many of the retrogressive rites and cultural cases of teenage pregnancies and forced early marriages are linked to FGM a rite he said has been overtaken by events.
Ndirangu noted that in all communities living in Moyale sub-county, a girl who has undergone the rite is considered a woman, ready for marriage accusing chiefs and their assistant of supporting FGM and early marriages by failing to arrest those.
Moyale Assistant County Commissioner one (ACC I) Victor Wanjohi recently put village elders, Nyumba KUMI members, Chiefs and their assistants on notice with the stern warning them after it emerged that local community elders always opted to negotiate and settle most of the defilement cases out of court under their watch.
By Gatana Muchira