Poverty, family break ups and moral decay to blame for defilement cases in Makueni

Poverty, family breakdown, alcoholism and weak moral values in society are some of the factors contributing to the increased cases of defilement in Makueni County.

Other factors include gender based violence, lack of parental care, drugs and substance abuse as well as social events.

The revelations came up in a Multi-agency committee meeting chaired by the Makueni County Commissioner (CC), Mohammed Maalim in his Wote boardroom on Wednesday.

The committee heard that young girls are allowed to engage in sex by their mothers in a bid to bring food on the table due to poverty, hence abetting sexual exploitation.

Through a survey that has been carried out, we have established minors engage in sex with the full knowledge of parents. Family break ups and gender based violence has left the young girls and boys on their own hence endangering them, lamented Maalim.

At the same time, the CC said that single mothers living with their adolescent children in a single room bring different men which poses a risk of learning the about sexual activities too early in life.

Further it was echoed in the meeting that children born out of wedlock have also been targeted for defilement by their step-fathers once the mothers get married.

Speaking in the same meeting, the Makueni County Social Development Officer, Daniel Mulonzi said sometimes parents leave children unattended when they go for social events like paying of dowry.

During social activities especially at night, young boys and girls are left on their own and get drunk. Sometimes parents also go for overnight prayers (kesha) leaving the children alone, as a result they engage in anti-social activities, noted Mulonzi.

The meeting that was attended by departmental heads from the national and county governments was called to identify the causes of defilement and suggest way forward on how to tackle the emerging problem.

During the meeting, it was agreed unanimously that the victims of defilement should first go for medical attention before they can report to the police.

At the same time, they were advised to ensure they keep the clothes well for presentation in court as evidence when the cases come up.

It was established that the main culprits who defile minors are religious leaders, businessmen, boda boda riders, teachers, close relatives and law enforcers just to mention a few.

The meeting resolved to work as a team to create awareness of the menace that has ruined the social fabric and impacted negatively on the status of men in the area.

It was disclosed that there were 95 defilement cases registered in Makueni courts, throughout the period under review, while it is believed that many more go unreported.

The members agreed to mount concerted efforts and conduct barazas across the county and impressed upon parents to report the cases immediately whenever they occur.

The meeting further agreed that the Judiciary fast tracks such cases while investigating agencies should bring watertight evidence in a bid to ensure justice for the victims.

Source: Kenya News Agency