Mijikenda elders in Kilifi County have threatened to pronounce curses against men who defile and impregnate teenage girls in the county.
Speaking at Magarini Cultural Centre in Gongoni on Monday where they had congregated for special prayers, the elders said they had opted for the ‘curse solution’ to curb rising cases of teenage pregnancies in the County.
“We are warning those who will play with our girls that they will either be forced to marry the girls or get life threatening curses and they will never know peace in their lives,” said Mzee Stanley Kenga from Kaya Ribe.
He accused teachers of also joining the perpetrators in the vice instead of sticking to their educational roles.
The calls by elders come against the backdrop of an increased number of reported cases of teenage pregnancies in Kilifi County.
The county government statistics puts the number of teenage pregnancies reported annually at17,000.
From the local Malindi law courts alone, at least 30 cases of defilement are reported every month.
Mijikenda Kaya Elders Association chairman Mwinyi Mwalimu said the modern lifestyles and digital evolution was partly to blame and cautioned the government against rushing to ban discos in funerals and weddings before carrying out a proper research on the topic.
“We welcome the government’s efforts in combating the vice, but again it should be clear that banning some activities on the pretext of fighting early pregnancies will not help because such ceremonies existed even before I was born and there were no teenage pregnancies then,” he said, adding that nowadays children use the internet and phones to communicate.
Tsuma Nzai urged the national and county governments to work closely with the elders so that they can pass the correct information to parents and their children.