Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi has proposed that the Sexual Offences Act be amended to provide for the castration of men who defile young girls as one way of dealing the teenage pregnancy menace.
Speaking during an the official launch of 16 days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, a function also attended by Gender Chief Administrative Secretary Racheal Shebesh at Matsangoni, the governor urged residents to stop involving themselves in gender-based violence.
“In Saudi Arabia, if you steal your hands are chopped off; we will not joke, we shall come up with laws at the county assembly [so that] if we get evidence that one has impregnated a teenage girl, he is castrated in public,’’ he said.
Mr Kingi said the 13,000 cases of teenage pregnancies in Kilifi are shocking since it will lead to a poverty-stricken generation in the future.
“It is absurd that the 13,000 girls’ future is spoilt while the perpetrators are busy educating their children to get good jobs while their victims languish in poverty,” he added.
The 16 days of activism is expected to bring positive results and success stories of the war against gender-based violence from the grassroots level.
The governor attributed the increased cases of teenage pregnancies to parents who failing to play their proper roles in the children’s upbringing.
“Poverty is not to blame, there are other areas with higher poverty levels than Kilifi yet the cases are not there; it should not be an excuse,’’ he said.
To put to an end the issue of teenage pregnancies menace, Mr Kingi said parents must play a leading role of protecting and bringing up their children well.
He also put on notice chiefs and their assistants who determine cases of teenage pregnancies locally, saying they will face the full force of the law.
On her part, Ms Shebesh called upon the governor and County Commissioner Magu Mutindika to begin a major crackdown against those who impregnate young girls and those marrying teenage girls.
Ms Shebesh said if the operation manages to get about 200 men it will scare away others who are fond of preying on school children.