Over the last three months, cases of child defilement in Bungoma county have increased. According to the reports from the Bungoma Police station, nine cases of defilement have been reported since July this year with the recent case occurring early this month where a 20-year-old man defiled a 16-year-old girl.
The worst case was reported towards the end of July where a 48-year-old man had defiled a 12-year-old girl. Other similar cases occurring in the same month involved four 16-year-olds who were defiled by men ranging between 16 to 20 years.
According to the Assistant Chief of Bungoma township, Mrs. Christine Nalianya, the cases are increasing since most of the people fear to report such incidences to the authorities and thus end up promoting the vice unknowingly. “Some parents fear to report cases of defilement to us and so we end up discovering them when it’s too late and sometimes we don’t discover,” she said.
She also cites parent negligence and poverty among the residents in Bungoma as being reasons as to why the cases are on the rise. “Some parents leave their young daughters under the care of male counterparts who are under the influence of drugs. The men end up defiling the children. Also, some children come from poor families and since they cannot afford some meals, they end up being defiled at the expense of meals,” she adds.
Mr. John Wekesa, a resident of Bungoma Town, however, blames the government for the increase in such cases, saying that the government has relaxed in its execution of the rule of law and thus making criminals walk scot free. “It always amazes me when we take a rapist to court only to see him walking out the next day under the guise of lack of enough evidence,” he says.
“Also, some parents prefer payment instead of taking the sex offenders to court. This has caused the number of defilement cases to rise since people know that there is nothing that will be done in the long run,” he added, and he urged parents to be careful with how they take care of their children.
These numbers raise disturbing question marks as to whether the security of children is guaranteed and all eyes look upon Bungoma County government to see what measures it will put in place to curb them. However, parents should also not abdicate their roles but should keep their eyes wide upon and be ready to act should they see a red sign.