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12-year-old rescued from early marriage

Police in Oldekesi area in Narok West Sub County on Friday rescued a 12-year-old girl from early marriage.

Confirming the incident, Narok County Commissioner Mr Samuel Kimiti said police collaborated with the area chief to rescue the minor following a tip off from the community members that the minor was set to be married as a second wife to an elderly man.

“The girl was rescued on the eve of her wedding day. She was to get married to a man who is the age-mate of her father as a second wife,” said Kimiti.

Kimiti confirmed that the girl is in the custody of Narok Children’s office as her suitor Mr. Kerima Nginai and her father who had planned her marriage are held in police custody.

The county commissioner condemned the incident saying his administration is on high alert to avert such incidents that were compromising education in the area.

FULL FORCE OF THE LAW

“The government has provided free education to all children in the country so that no one can say he or she is disadvantaged. Any parent who will not take their children to school will face the full force of the law,” he said.

He added that the two conspirators (girl’s father and suitor) would be arraigned in court on Monday where they will be charged with organising to marry off a minor.

Kimiti reminded residents of the government’s plan to see 100 percent transition where all pupils who sat for the class eight national examinations must be admitted in a secondary school.

“It does not matter the child’s background or the marks she or he scored, as long as the child sat for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), he or she should be enrolled to join secondary school,” reiterated Kimiti.

Cases of early marriages are not new in the county. In 2018, Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) ranked the county as the top in teenage pregnancy at 37 percent with most school-going girls who had been forced into marriage affected.