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Citizen Weekly

Friday 31 October 2014


State prosecutor Dama Karani has termed sexual exploitation of minors in Taita Taveta as shocking.
“We receive at least 10 cases of defilement per week, while many others go unreported,” said Karani. The prosecutor cited a recent case in which a man pleaded guilty for defiling seven primary school boys in Mwatate and was jailed for 15 years.
“We are challenging parents to immediately report such cases to law enforcement officers,” said the state officer.
 Addressing parents, pupils and leaders at Ghazi trading centre in Voi, Karani also warned parents who fail to take their children to school that they will be arrested and prosecuted.
 “We are coming for you if you fail to take your children to school. We will charge you according to the Children’s Act,” the prosecutor warned.
 Criticising parents for failing in their parental duties, Voi MP Jones Mlolwa said four secondary school girls from David Kayanda Secondary School dropped out of school in third term because of pregnancy.
 He also noted that 11 pregnant girls from Mshimba Secondary School had also dropped out in the same period.
“We need to protect young girls from sexual exploitation. County administration, civil society and the media should join hands in the war against sexual exploitation of minors,” said the MP.
Earlier in the week, Taita-Taveta Women Rep Joyce Wanjala Lay caused a storm when she revealed that women MPs are pushing for a review of the Sexual Offenses and Children’s Act to make it more punitive to offenders of sexual abuse.
 “We want to propose deterrent sentences against those sexually exploiting minors and castration is one of the measures we think will help deter rampant child abuse cases,” she said.
 They spoke following revelations by an NGO that 3,000 primary and secondary school students have dropped out of school in Taita-Taveta.
Action Aid officials Juma Nzao and Rosemary Migiro, who conducted a study on dropout rates and absenteeism, attributed it to poverty, early marriages, pregnancy, child labour and prostitution.
 They also blamed defilement, sodomy, breakdown in marriages, child neglect; gender-based violence, lack of school fee and imposed levies by school management committees. Police and education officials have launched a major crackdown on parents who have neglected their children.

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