Matiang’i Terms Plan To Lower Sex Consent Age To 16 Years ‘Nonsense’

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has castigated individuals calling for the lowering of age for sex consent from 18 to 16 years.

Terming the plan nonsense, the tough-talking CS said children should be protected at all costs.

“I want to assure you we can never be mad enough to support such nonsense regarding the consent age….There is some madness that people engage in that is so difficult to understand,” he said during a prize giving ceremony at Pangani Girls High School in Nairobi on Friday.

Read: 16-Year-Old Kibera Boy Impregnates 3 Girls In 6 Months

He urged parents and government officials to divert the energy to more pressing issues such as gambling and betting addictions.

“How on earth? Ni kazi umekosa? How can we be debating about endangering the lives of our children,” he posed.

Matiang’i comments comes at a time the proposal to lower the age of sexual consent has elicited mixed reactions among many Kenyans.

Also Read: Woman, Form-three Client Arrested For Attempting To Terminate 6-month Pregnancy

In March, three appellate judges, Roselyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga and Patrick Kiage called for a candid national discussion on this sensitive and important matter.

They argue that 16-year-olds teenagers are already engaging in sex and have the ability to make decisions on what they want to do with their bodies.

To some Kenyans, the move is too risky.

Also Read: Court Of Appeal Declines To Admit Daughter’s Confession In Wambua Musyoki’s Case

Dr Njoki noted, “Nobody is going to give you any [real] sex education except abstinence only. So there are many who would stake their lives on maintaining your illiteracy on condoms and contraception despite any change in law,” she explained.

“That means that if you are a girl, it is a setup for you to really embody being an emerging key population for contracting HIV and other STIs (girls and women aged 16 to 24 are the new population with higher and higher risks associated with these),” she added.

“I’m strongly against lowering the age of consent to 16! This will open floodgates where old men (paedos and perves) can have sex with children and entrench #ChildMarriage. Can the new Education CS oppose this strongly? All men with daughters and sisters oppose this!” Samuel Gachagua tweeted.

Also Read: Maseno University Student Claims Her Prayers Are Behind Kambua’s Pregnancy

Some sided with the judges moments after their proposal went viral.

“With Blue Band & other enhanced foods, age should be 12 years. Nowadays a child of [six] years knows everything and can even seduce an adult, judges are right,” he said.

“With Blue Band & other enhanced foods, age should be 12 years. Nowadays a child of [six] years knows everything and can even seduce an adult, judges are right,” he said.

Read:Death Threats As Mother Seeks Justice For Defiled Nine Year Old Daughter

According to a recent Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) report on teenage pregnancy prevalence, Narok county topped the list with a rate of 40%. Homa Bay County comes in second with 33%, in the third position was West Pokot (29%), Tana-River and Nyamira (28%) and in the sixth position was Samburu with 26.

Further, a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), revealed that nearly 378,400 adolescent girls in Kenya aged between 10 and 19 years became pregnant between July 2016 and June 2017.

A total of 28,932 girls aged between 10 and 14 years were impregnated, while 349,465 girls were between 15 to 19 years.

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Written by Wycliffe Nyamasege


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