Kajiado county top cops on Saturday vowed to help fight against defilement, early child marriages and female genital mutilation in Kajiado County.
Speaking during the Day of African Child celebration at Lenkai Christian School in Kimana town, Kajiado South Sub County, the officers said they will use the prevailing laws in apprehending suspects involved child rights abuses.
The theme of this year’s celebration was, “Humanitarian action in Africa: Children Rights First.
In a rare show of child rights activism, the officers who included chief inspectors of police; Osman Mohammed (Kimana), Peter Mwafrika (Loitokitok) and Solomon Salu (Tarakea) said they will walk an extra mile in their positions in government to protect the rights of Kenyan children.
Kimana OCS, Chief Ins[ector Adan Mohammed.
Mohammed said he comes from a county in the country that has refused to drop FGM in this 21st Century and that he managed to convince all his age-mates not to circumcise their daughters.
“I am now about 55 years and all my daughters, who are married were not circumcised because I stood with them my Somali community. They are happily married because of the love I showed them,” said Mohammed amid ululation from women guests during the celebrations in Kimana.
Mohammed said although police officers are not required to get involved in activism, he personally took his stance against immoral acts visited on innocent children because of his personal position in the society.
“As a police officer, I will stand by the existing laws to arrest and prosecute anyone involved in such activities. I am really saddened by such acts as a man of 70 years marrying a 10-year-old girl. Why can’t you marry your age-mates?” asked Mohammed.
Lenkai Christian School pupils mark Day of African Child Kajiado South Sub County on June 15.
His Tarakea counterpart Salu said the practice is rampant among the Maasai people, who prefer to solve cases of defilement of girls through kangaroo courts.
“It will not be business as usual in my jurisdiction from today because this practice has to stop. I will use the law to prosecute those suspected to be involved in injurious practices. Children have the right to education. They have their own dreams in life, and anyone suspected to be circumventing their rights shall be dealt with by existing laws,” he said.
Mwafrika of Loitokitok said he will arrest anyone who is using children to till their farms in his area of jurisdiction.
BELOW: County KNUT chairman, Julius Kisai, speaks during the Day of African Child celebration.
“I have information that some people are engaging children in their farming activities because they claim they provide cheap labour. I will arrest you together with their parents for such offenses and charge you in the courts of law,” Mwafrika said.
The police officers were reacting to allegations made by Kajiado County Kenya National Union of Teachers, Julius Kisai when he claimed that many cases of defilement of girls are solved at village levels without being prosecuted in courts.
Kisai also claimed farmers and other business people are now engaging school-going children in the farms and business premises because of cheap labour.
Lenkai Christian School pupils mark the Day of African Child in Kimana town on June 15.
Kimana assistant county commissioner, Edwin Okemwa, said many cases of child rights abuses taken to court by police officers fail to take off because of lack of witnesses.
“We have had many cases of child rights abuses being thrown out of the courts because the complainants fail to come to court to support their cases. In the absence of evidence, a case cannot take off in the court of law,” said Okemwa.
Lenkai Christian School director, Dorcus Parit, who is also an anti-FGM activist, announced that she has rescued more than 500 young girls from forceful marriages across the sub-county.
Parit, who formed Hope Beyond Foundation organisation to deal with child rights abuses in the county said she has been “marked’ in the society for standing with abused children.
Visiting Americans join Lenkai Christian School children in Marking the Day of African Child
“I am happy today to tell you that I am proud of our police officers who have gathered with us here today to mark this day. Those who spoke before me are champions in their own rights for standing to be counted in the society. They are always ready to assist me whenever we receive cases of child rights abuses,” said Parit.
Parit also thanked 21 Americans led by Just One Africa Foundation directors; Clay Churchill and wife Emily, from Atlanta, for supporting their activities and providing clean water to Maasai communities in Kimana and in Kajiado South Sub-County at large.
Hope Beyond Foundation Director Dorcus Parit.
The foundation had sunk a borehole in Kimana and distributed more than 5, 000 water distillers among the communities in Loitokitok alone.