By Leonard Korir
Kilgoris Resident Magistrate Amos Mokoros said the numbers were worrying and that something ought to be done to reverse the situation.
Mr Mokoros said there was need for sensitisation of residents of the consequences of committing such an offence.
Addressing a forum on Children Rights in Kilgoris recently, Mokoros said judging by the way most accused persons were taking pleas, it was obvious that majority have not understood the Constitution.
“It is unfortunate most residents are not aware that it is against the law for anybody to get married or to be involved sexually with someone who is below 18 years,” said Mokoros.
The magistrate said the Judiciary has noted that most people who are brought to court for involvement in these offences said they were not aware they had committed an offence.
“It is the responsibility of chiefs and their assistants to make people aware of the consequences of marrying minors or getting involved with them sexually to avoid being jailed if found guilty,” said Mokoros.
Trans Mara West DO1 Felix Kisalu issued a stern warning to chiefs and their assistants who would be found to compromise on the rights of children, including marrying them off.
“We will crack the whip on chiefs who are silent on matters affecting children especially girls who have remained vulnerable to defilement, FGM and forced early marriages,” said Kisalu.
The administrator also asked the local community to do away with practices that are discriminatory against children with disabilities, noting that such persons were capable of performing like other able people.