The Narok Children Stakeholders have lamented increasing cases of defilement during this season when the schools are closed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on Tuesday during the celebrations of the Day of the African Child, the Narok Chief Magistrate, George Wakahiu said defilement cases reported this year are 48 cases compared to 79 defilement cases that were reported the whole of last year.
He said the cases take up to one year to be completed in court as the children, who are the main witnesses only attend the courts when the schools are closed
“The cases take quite some time because we engage the children at their convenience. We ensure that the children are well protected and create a favourable atmosphere for them to give their testimonies in court,” said the magistrate.
The celebrations were held yesterday at the Narok Children’s office where unlike other years only 15 people attended the function with strict adherence to regulations to curb Covid-19.
Wakahiu lamented that most of the children affected are between three to 16 years adding that the culprits of defilement are people who are well known by the children.
“It is rare that you find an outsider defiling a child. The people who live close to the children and are well known to them are the main culprits of defilement,” reiterated Wakahiu.
On her part, Narok Resident Magistrate, Adeline Sisenda who is in charge of children matters cautioned the culprits of defilement saying those who defile children below 12 years risk facing life sentence while those found guilty of defiling children above 12 years risk over 20 years imprisonment.
Ms. Sisenda advised men to ask for the National Identity card from the girls before befriending them to confirm that their lovers were adults.
“Girls sometimes may look like adults. I advise men to ask for national identification from the girls before befriending them,” he said.
She called on the county and national government to collaborate to build a Child Protection Unit in the county since the children are kept in the adults’ cells when waiting for their cases to be heard in court.
At the same time, the Narok County Commissioner (CC), Samuel Kimiti reiterated the need to protect children especially the girl child in a bid to protect the future generation.
He reiterated that the police will not relent in arresting suspects of defilement who will be arraigned in court to face full force of the law.
The CC asked the chiefs to be in the front line in fighting for the rights of the children since they are the eyes of the government in the grassroots.
Meanwhile, the Mwala Sub-County Criminal Investigation Officer, Ms. Catherine Kinoti has called upon the public to take a decisive role in safeguarding the rights of children.
Speaking yesterday at Mwiso Children Centre in Maweli village, Mwala Sub County during celebrations to mark this year’s Day of African Child, the officer decried the rising number of abuses being meted against minors and emphasized it was time society took an active role in ensuring the rights of children were protected.
She said it was appalled that those who are entrusted to be voices for the children in the community have all but gone silent leaving the victims to continue to suffer at the hands of molesters.
“We are the voices for the children since they cannot speak for themselves. A lot of injustices being perpetrated against children is as a result of a society that has gone mum when it is supposed to speak out,” she said.
Kinoti nevertheless said her office will continue pursuing those preying on minors in the area to ensure justice is served for the victims especially during the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic which has locked children out of school since March this year.
BY KNA TEAM