Kajiado Commissioner, David Kipkemei, has warned an MP to restrain from inciting chiefs against his resolve of ending early childhood marriages among girls, reports Linet Minayo.
Kipkemei spoke in Dalalekutuk Ward in Kajiado Central Sub County on Sunday during ceremony for awarding certificate and cash to former female genital cutters, who quit the practice to indulge in other gainful businesses.
He said he is irked by the elected MP for remarking that he is allegedly ‘mishandling’ chiefs and their assistants suspected to be supporting FGM and early childhood for minors in their areas.
“Let me be clear in this, any politician who is found to be supporting those archaic malpractices will face the same arm of the law we are using on suspected chiefs. Let them not think they are above the law,” said a physically disturbed county commissioner.
“Any leader worth his salt cannot go public against the government’s resolve to end injurious practices such as FGM on our little girls and support their childhood marriages,” said Kipkemei.
He went on; “How can a 50 year old man marry a child of nine years with the blessing of an assistant chief in this country after more than 50 years of independence? I will not budge to any threats directed to me by politicians while I am seeing our children being destroyed.”
The commissioner’s attack seemed to have been directed Kajiado West MP, George Sunkuyia who on Saturday, while speaking in a political rally in Keek-Onyokie Ward, told Kipkemei to stop ‘intimidating’ chiefs suspected to be aiding early marriages for girls.
The commissioner said he is aware that he will be meeting with resistance in his war against FGM but he is prepared for any eventualities even if it means being removed from the region.
When we sought Sunkuyia’s reaction on what the commissioner said, he said on Monday Kipkemei’s statement on Sunday was “ill-advised” and in “bad taste”.
“I do not support FGM or early marriages as the commissioner purports to imply. It is true I said he should stop incarceration of chiefs suspected to have aided such practices. How can my assistant chief from Kajiado West be arrested while in uniform and put in remand prison?” asked Sunkuyia on the phone.
He went on; “I am not in any war with the commissioner over such archaic malpractices, but I am telling him to tread carefully and respect human dignity on the side of the suspected chiefs. Why was that chief taken to Kajiado town, and yet we have a law court in Ngong town?”
Speaking on Sunday Kipkemei said Kajiado governor Joseph Lenku is on his side in the fight against injurious traditional malpractices that have sabotaged the lives of young girls in the region.
He said 95 per cent of chiefs and their assistants in the county are loyal in their work while the remaining 5 per cent have continued to take the government in to endless circles by breaking the law in even being part of the problem that the government wants to resolve.
“I will not stop from ordering for those breaking the law. In fact, I have said this position of chief is going to be a competitive one. Those seeking employment will have to have attained a C+ in Form Four certificate. We shall now prefer women with such qualification because some men have proved to be unmanageable,” said Kipkemei.
He told the chiefs to either choose to change and walk with him in fighting injurious practices or go home.
The ceremony was also attended by top women leaders led by Agnes Leina, who also presented a cheque of Sh400, 000 to former FGM proponents.