Chiefs directed to wage war against early marriages or face the sack

The government is concerned over increased cases of forced early marriages in Loyiangalani Sub-County in Marsabit involving underage girls and chiefs have been ordered to fight the vice or risk being relieved from their duties.

The remarks prompted by an incident where three pupils from Kurkum and Kargi areas were reported to have gone missing last week has put jobs of the public administrators on the line.

Area Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Mr. Enock Nyarango said Thursday that it had come to the government’s notice that the practice was widespread in the area despite its illegality.

Nyarango said investigations point at complacency by chiefs and their assistants as tender girls are forced into female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage to elderly men with the full knowledge of local chiefs.

The DCC said on the telephone from Loiyangalani that the administrators had been directed to lead a search of the missing girls aged between 9 and 13 years by the end of this week.

We have come to realize that the problem where girls at their tender age are taken away to isolated places far from home to be prepared for early marriage is bigger than was imagined, said the DCC adding that the girls were made to undergo FGM before being married off to elderly suitors.

Nyarango stated that the government would not retain chiefs and their assistants who abet the practice and other crimes in its pay roll. I am sounding a warning to any administrator involved in this vice that we are soon going to catch up with them with no any other remedy but sacking and prosecuting, he warned.

He said that his office got the information about the missing girls from the management of local primary schools after they failed to attend classes for days.

Nyarango assured residents and especially children that the government will ensure that they were not denied a bright future as their right to education and protection is not going to be compromised by anyone.

Source: Kenya News Agency