Mukurweini Sub-county will play host to this year’s Day of African Child celebrations, Nyeri County Children Coordinator, Mwaniki Kung’u, has announced.
Stakeholders organizing the annual fete settled for the venue after the Sub-county hit the headlines in April this year, following the rescue of eight minors who were set to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
A number of the victims, who were surprisingly not from the Sub-county, were still in school while others had just sat for their 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).
Seven of the suspects behind the ugly incident that drew widespread condemnation, have since been arrested and charged in court.
“This year we decided to host the Day of African Child in Mukurweini in response to what actually transpired in April this year, when six minors underwent Female Genital Mutilation. Our message to the residents of the area will also coincide with this year’s theme –Eliminating Harmful Practices affecting Children’s Progress on Policy Since 2013,” he told the press, yesterday.
Kung’u has also disclosed that the affected girls who were first admitted at the Mukurweini Level Four Hospital, have already been taken to safe havens to help them in the recovery process, before they can be reintegrated back to the community.
Among leaders who strongly condemned the shocking incident at the time was Nyeri Woman Representative, Rahab Mukami, who called for a speedy investigation into the beastly act, terming it primitive and outdated.
Mukami called for the arrest of all the perpetrators of the incident, as one way of ensuring justice is served to the girls whose future, she said, might suffer irreparable damage.
“It is disturbing to hear cases of FGM having now found their way into Nyeri County at this age and time. What transpired in Mukurweini is unacceptable, a beastly act that needs to be condemned by all and all those involved should be brought to book to answer to their despicable acts,” she had told the press,” Mukami remarked.
The Legislator has also appealed to the residents of the area to discard backward and outdated cultural practices that have been overtaken by events and instead embrace Christianity and modern forms of education.
She said FGM was an outdated and retrogressive practice that had no place in the modern era and society.
Kung’u had disclosed that among the suspects arrested are the minors’ parents, who are believed to have given the nod for the girls to undergo the mutilation.
The African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Committee), established under Articles 32 and 33 of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child recognizes the importance of the Day of the African Child, as a key support tool for promoting children’s rights and their welfare.
The day traces its roots to the 1976 uprising in Soweto, South Africa in which an estimated 20,000 high school student-led protests occurred in response to the introduction of Afrikaans, as the medium of instruction in local schools.
After the deadly confrontation with Police, an estimated 700 persons including 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, are said to have lost their lives.
In 1991 the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the then Organization of African Unity (OAU), set aside June 16th as a time to remember and celebrate African children, as well as inspire a sober reflection and action towards addressing the challenges that children in Africa face on a day-to-day basis.
By Samuel Maina