Women leaders in Kisii County have unanimously condemned rapid increase in defilement cases in the area and called for concerted effort towards ending the menace.
Addressing journalists after inspecting construction of a rescue center for gender-based violence victims in Kisii town on Thursday, the leaders led by the County Women Representative Janet Ongera particularly expressed their anger following the alleged defilement of a 6-year old girl by her step-father at Kenyoro village in Marani Sub-County last Saturday.
“We are saddened as women leaders and our cries have not borne fruits, but we will continue fighting for justice for these victims,” said Ongera.
The Women Representative also accused local chiefs of laxity in taking actions against perpetrators and cited more than nine defilement cases from Kisii County whose victims have not received justice since last year.
“Chiefs and village elders found abetting the practice should be fired because they do not understand their mandate,” said Ongera.
On her part, nominated member of Kisii County Assembly (MCA) and local Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson Bathsheba Sanaya blamed kangaroo courts for circumventing justice for the victims and asked chiefs to desist from using out of court settlements.
“Women fear that if they report perpetrators their marriages would end. Which marriage is this where a husband defiles his own child?” posed Sanaya.
Josephine Ombati, another Kisii County Assembly nominated MCA challenged men in the area to take up responsibility of protecting the Gusii community from such shameful behaviour.
“We want to ensure that Kisii residents shun this behavior with a view to bringing defilement to an end,” she said.
By Clinton Nyamumbo and Erastus Michieka