Supreme Court judge Njoki Ndung’u has differed with the Court of Appeal proposal to lower the age of consent to 16 years from 18 saying the plan is ill advised and would lead to increase on sexual abuse crimes.
While she opposed the decision, Judge Ndung’u said it is unacceptable for young as young as 16 years to be subjected to early sex consent. She said the proposal is outrageous and should not be given an ear by any sober and sane Kenyan.
An amendment to the Sexual Offences Act presented to Parliament through the Statue Law (Miscellaneous Amendment Bill) 2016, wants the age for consensual sex lowered from 18 to 16 years.
In Kenya, it is criminal for anybody to have sex with a person less than 18 years. If the proposed amendment goes through, it will be legal for 16-year-olds to engage in sex and even get married.
The Court of Appeal 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.
“I cannot accept and agree that position. Women should not accept that decision because our young girls are not ready at that age to be parents,” said Justice Ndung’u.
Ndung’u also waded into the rising cases of homicide calling on women not to wait until women are mistreated or killed, instead they should report to authorities to avert similar crimes.
“We want to urge women to speak up and report any cases of women violation. Let’s not wait until somebody is killed that is when we report,” urged Ndung’u.
Justice Ndung’u was speaking during the official launch of launch of Women Led Social Justice Centre in Mwandoni area, Kisauni Sub County in Mombasa accompanied by UK ambassador to Kenya Nic Hailey and Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji.
The center established through support from the UK Government in collaboration with Haki Afrika Organization is aimed at delivering justice to women who undergo social justice crimes. It will also help stem women radicalization and domestic violence crimes.
Also speaking during the launch Director Of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has called for collaborative engagement between the public and the police to stem rising cases of social crime against women.
Kinoti said his office will not hesitate to investigate domestic violence crimes against women perpetrated by police urging the public to be quick to report any violations of human rights to relevant Authorities.
Haji said it is of importance to safe guard women by protecting them through their rights. He noted in Mombasa there have been rampant cases of drug and substance abuse, crime and rape cases among women which he assured his office was going to solve.
British High Commission to Kenya Nic Hailey committed in helping Kenya to address cases of gender violence against women.
Hailey underscored the vital role of women in development and committed to help in reforming the police service.
Council of Imam and preachers of Kenya (CIPK) Secretary General Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa faulted the judiciary for its laxity to fight Corruption.