Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has criticised the push to lower the age at which a person can legally consent to sex from 18 to 16.
Dr Matiang’i said the proposal to lower the age of consent was ill informed and did not represent the popular view of Kenyans.
According to Matiang’i, the reduction of the age of consent was being driven by individuals with ulterior motives and business interests.
“If we investigate this issue of allowing our adolescent children to engage in sexual relations, we can easily find that those behind it are people who want to do business in selling contraceptives and promoting illegal activities such as abortion. What kind of society will our country be creating if we permit our children to start engaging in sex?” posed Matiang’i.
According to the CS, there were other ways of addressing sexuality among adolescents that should be explored.
“A 16-year old girl should ideally be in Form Two. Even as a parent, what will it be like allowing your child to start looking for men while in school? This is bad and barbaric. We should never entertain such debate,” he said.
Matiang’i was addressing students, teachers and parents of Gesiaga SDA Mixed Secondary School in Nyamira County, where he was the chief guest in a funds drive to help the school’s infrastructural development.
Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama, who was among the guests, accused boda boda operators of being the main perpetrators of sexual offenses involving school girls.
Mr Nyagarama appealed to law enforcers to ensure sex pests were promptly arrested and brought to book.
He supported Matiang’i on the age of consent debate, saying it was misplaced and did not represent the voice of parents.
“We will not have professionals in future if we allow our children to engage in thoughtless sexual activities. There is no parent who can allow their child to start those things (sex) while in school,” said Nyagarama.
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