It is a shame that people ruin the lives of school girls by impregnating them and forcing them to undergo female genital mutilation, Deputy President William Ruto has said.
The DP aired his views in Migori County on Saturday, following thousands of cases of early pregnancy as candidates wrote their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCSE) examinations. Other cases have been reported among high school students writing their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) tests.
Mr Ruto warned of stern measures by the government against the culprits in these cases.
"Many girls in primary and secondary school are impregnated by ... 'I don't know' mad people or which type of people. We want our girls to be in school and complete their studies. I warn those behind this vice that we shall get them," he said Speaking in Kuria East during the opening of Kendege Technical Training Institute.
He further cautioned residents against subjecting girls to circumcision, noting the government will act firmly to stop the outlawed practice that is common in the area.
"The girl child in this country is under threat from all manner of vices, including early pregnancy and female genital mutilation (FGM) and many other kinds of nonsense that affect our communities. [These things] have no basis for the development of our country," he said.
"So let me warn you the people of Kuria; you will have to stop this thing (FGM). I am a father of daughters. We will not allow you to do these things to our girls. Let us not lie to each other in broad daylight. You will stop it and the government will ensure you don't do it. So don't try it."
Last week, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed announced that action will be taken against parents who did not report cases of early pregnancy.
Speaking at a separate function, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said Parliament will amend the Sexual Offences Act for stringent measures against predators.
Mr Duale, who is Garissa Town legislator, said it is embarrassing for the country to have more than 500 pregnant children in schools.
He said he will amend the famous Njoki law, by judge Njoki Ndung'u, so that children are protected.
Mr Duale further said that anybody who impregnates a school child should be castrated.
"It's very shameful and ugly for girls to do their national examinations while they are pregnant," he said, and lay part of the blame on parents, since they are supposed to instil discipline.
"Even local religious leaders are to blame ... since you also failed in your mandate," he added on Saturday, during a graduation ceremony at Northeastern Polytechnic. "We will amend the laws so that those in the business of impregnating young girls are dealt with. Your days are numbered."
The lawmaker told Ms Mohamed that she should not waste time forming a task force to look into the cases as "solutions lie in tough laws against the vice.