Church leaders call for severe action on sexual crime offenders

Religious leaders in Voi sub-county have urged police to take stern action against culprits of sexual crimes in the region regardless of their status in society.

Speaking in Voi town during the celebrations of International Women’s Day on Thursday, Chairman of Voi Pastors’ Fellowship Pastor, Robert Mwangala said there was a worrying trend where old women and children were becoming easy targets for sexual pests.

Mwangala underscored the need to uphold and respect the dignity of women regardless of their social status, adding that the church was leading from the front in protecting women’s rights.

He further pointed out that the church was also involved in empowerment of women and protecting their rights through education, seminars and allocating women high seats in the church.

The pastor however expressed concern over the rising number of sexual crimes in the region even as he admitted that the church was equally plagued by such vices in its ranks, and now wants the government to take stern action against perpetrators.

Even as we celebrate women, we should support any action meant to safeguard them from being exploited sexually by criminals. Only then will we honour them truly, he said.

Mwangala’s sentiments come in the wake of increased sexual offences targeting women. A fortnight ago, a 76-years old woman in Lushangonyi was allegedly raped and murdered triggering public outcry.

Police in the region have since launched a manhunt for the culprits, while, urging members of public to report culprits to the relevant authorities.

Last year, an ACK pastor was arraigned in court over claims of defiling a minor. The case is still ongoing.

On gender equality, Mwangala added that the issue should not be seen as competition between men and women.

He stated that each person neither had a unique role to play and warned that women were neither ‘birthing’ machines nor were they domestic serfs.

The event was attended by amongst others women lobby groups, human rights groups and officials from the County government.

Macrina Mwamburi of Sauti Ya Wanawake said women in the region were becoming more empowered to fight for their rights.

She said that they needed more platforms to amplify their voices noting that only through such forums would they be heard. We can now articulate our issues but we need more voices, she said.

Source: Kenya News Agency