Under-age girls now in school after rescue from early marriage

Machakos Level Five Hospital [File]

Two girls who were defiled and married off in Machakos were on Tuesday rescued by the Children’s Department law enforcers and human rights defenders.

One of them, a 16-year-old Form Three student in Mua Ward, had been defiled by a neighbour since 2019 with the alleged knowledge of her parents.

According to Mua Ward Human Rights Defenders chairperson Daniel Maweu, the girl was recently married off by her grandmother after a meeting between the girl’s parent and the perpetrator.

The resolution to marry off the girl, now three months pregnant, was arrived at last week to raise funds to cater for the welfare of her disabled mother. Until her rescue on Tuesday, the girl had been going to school from the man’s home.

The second incident was that of an 11-year-old girl who has been defiled by a 70-year-old man in Muvuti location.

Machakos Sub-County Children’s Officer Emily Kimanzi said the defilement case was reported to police last year and the matter referred to the Machakos Level Five Hospital.

She said the mother literally declined medical check-up on her daughter, dealing a major blow to the case.

Kimanzi spoke in her office on the two separate incidents after rescuing the two minors.

The culprits in the two incidents have been arrested and are waiting to be arraigned in court once investigations are completed. 

The 11-year-old was taken to a local children’s home, where she will receive medical attention. 

“Equally, we have transferred the 16-year-old victim to a school in Nyeri,” said the children’s officer.

She said there had been an upward trend in defilement and rape cases in Machakos County, with five reported cases this year.

Kimanzi said teachers play a major role in blowing the whistle on such cases, with most parents being compromised by the perpetrators in terms of cash compensation, which is illegal.

She warned those behind kangaroo courts that oppress helpless innocent girls that their days were numbered.

Kimanzi said her office, in collaboration with that of Human Rights Defenders, are out to stamp out what she described as “hyenas” menace.