Don’t exchange girls for chicken, warns Jumwa
The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Gender and Affirmative Action, Aisha Jumwa, has pledged to fight gender-based violence in Kenya, especially involving young school girls.
She warned chiefs and their assistants to desist from solving cases of early pregnancies and forced marriages in kangaroo courts, saying it was wrong to “exchange the virginity of our girls with chicken and goats.”
Speaking in Ganda Ward of Kilifi County on Tuesday during a thanksgiving service for her appointment as Cabinet Secretary, Jumwa warned chiefs that they would be held liable for any case they arbitrate in which payment of chicken and goats is done to cover up sexual assault of girls.
She also urged the police to stop intimidating victims of gender-based violence by asking them embarrassing questions. “I urge county commissioners, chiefs and the police to stop asking questions about how the girls were dressed or where their parents were when the assault took place,” she said.
The CS said some people were taking advantage of famine in Kilifi County to commit sex crimes against girls, and blamed parents for allowing their children to ask for help from strangers.
“Gender-based violence in Kilifi County is alarming. There are cases of mothers telling their daughters to seek favours from well-off people even if it means doing whatever those people said,” she noted. She said she would use all means — including the law — to ensure that gender-based violence is eradicated in Kilifi and Kenya.
On the squatter menace in Kilifi and the Coast region, she urged local leaders, led by Governor Gideon Mung’aro, to identify land being occupied by squatters with a view to buying it for them.
Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung’aro thanked President William Ruto for appointing Jumwa to the Cabinet and announced that he and Jumwa, who vied for the Kilifi gubernatorial position in the August 9, 2022 elections, had buried the hatchet and would work together.
The function was graced by a number of bishops, Ward Reps, and Kilifi County Commissioner Kutswa Olaka.