Njoki: Lowering age of consent only massages egos of pedophiles, sex pests

By Bernard Gitau On Tue, 3 Dec, 2019 13:00 | 2 mins read
Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung'i at a past function. PHOTO | FILE

Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u has continued to oppose the call to lower the age of consent from 18 to 16 years, saying the move would promote “pedophilia culture”.

The top court judge said lowering the age of consent is tantamount to embracing a “rape culture”.

“The problem of sexual offences is not the law, it is social and not legal, we have what we call a rape culture in this country where sexual offence acts are lesser crime than other crimes,” she said.

Speaking in Nairobi during the CRAWN Trust-Community Advocacy and Awareness Trust policy brief launch, Njoki broke ranks with her colleagues in the judiciary proposing the lowering on the same.

Crawn Trust report says peer to peer sex accounts to 30 percent while adults to minor ranks at 70 per cent.

“With the above facts, lowering the age of consent is massaging the egos of pedophiles and sex predators, we must protect our children,” Nominated MP Jennifer Shamalla said.

In March 2019, the Court of Appeal proposed a law change to lower the age of consent from 18 to 16 years.

Three judges, Roselyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga and Patrick Kiage, ruled that time was ripe for the country to consider changing the Sexual Offences Act, citing lengthy jail terms imposed on young men convicted of defilement.

They gave the opinion in the case where they reversed a one-year jail sentence on Eliud Waweru for impregnating a 17-year-old girl.

In the Sexual Offences Act, Njoki indicated that the minimum sentences were introduced as a deterrent and to bar judicial officers from issuing lenient sentencing to rapist.

Justice Njoki said the main rational for introducing the minimum sentences was because at the time we did not trust judicial officers with using their own discretion.

“We were having judicial officers issuing one day sentencing to rapists, probation and not taking into consideration that children were involved hence the introduction of the minimum sentencing,” she added.

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