Provincial administrators in Trans Nzoia have changed tact in tackling the ballooning cases of teenage pregnancies in the county after over 11,000 schoolgirls were feared to have been impregnated by July 2021.
Speaking at his office Municipality area Chief Charles Namunyu said the administrators have decided to track down the perpetrators whom they say live within the locality adding that his office will be handing school uniforms to wives of the offenders to discourage their husbands against defiling minors.
“We have started a manhunt for men who seem to have a huge appetite for school going girls and if we catch you we shall give your wife a school uniform to make her look like the girls you are running after if you seem to get pleasure in looking at girls below 18 years.
"We are making it easier for them. They should simply sew uniforms for their wives and if they can’t, we will help them do that,” Namunyu said.
The announcement by the local administrators in Trans Nzoia comes after the county was pointed out as one of the top five counties experiencing a huge number of teenage pregnancies.
Authorities said the school break occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic caused an upsurge in cases of teenage pregnancies.
Led by various government officials including Interior CS Dr. Fred Mantiangi and Rift valley Coordinator George Natembeya, authorities sounded a warning to the local administrators urging them to handle the situation.
“Before Matiangi and Natembeya summon us we, will hunt you down and bring you to justice. Make sure you sew school uniforms for your women to quench your appetite for school girls,” the chief said.
The administrator also warned parents who abate such cases adding that there has been an increase in local courts convened by elders to solve such matters.
“We know there is an increase in kangaroo courts where such cases are solved with the accused being fined as little as Ksh 50,000."
"Let me sound a warning that as apparent if you will not report the man who impregnates your daughter, we will arrest you and the perpetrator. These children belong to the government. You as parents are only custodians,” the chief said.
Parents of the girls also narrated the heavy burden laid on them citing that they lost their livelihood due to Covid-19 and that such cases were taking a toll on them.
“I took my girl to school to learn but instead she came back pregnant forcing me to take care of her and her child,” a parent told People Daily Digital.
They say the perpetrators are well known to them but go scot-free due to the long wheel of justice.
“My daughter was impregnated by a local bodaboda operator but nothing was done since he was released on bond after the arrested and the case is dragging in court while the baby grows old,” the parent added.
Religious leaders have also waded into the matter with ACK Kitale region bishop Emanuel Chemegich blaming parents over the increase of the cases due to moral decay among parents and society at large.
“We have seen a lot of youths indulging in some behaviour due to the societal background and blame them for the increase in teenage pregnancies. In fact, a lot of the girls not going back to school.”