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No imprisonment for children who are petty offenders

Children who are petty offenders will not serve terms in prison.

This was revealed by the spouse of the Deputy President Pastor Dorcas Rigathi in her speech during the ground breaking ceremony for the Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre in Rumuruti ward, Laikipia County.

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She said such underage petty offenders caught smoking bhang would be taken to a detention centre for rehabilitation. She added that absorption of a detention centre in Kenya’s penal system will be a collaboration of the judiciary, county and national governments.

“This place, we are going to do something that has not been done before. And this shall be done by the national, county governments and judiciary working together where we want our children who are caught in schools and other places with petty crime and maybe they were caught smoking bhang and all that, and they are in prison; we want to have a detention centre here where they will be moved and they come here and join the other children to go for rehabilitation and be skilled and when they finish they are also productive within the society. These are some of the plans,” said Pastor Dorcas.

Pastor Dorcas has in the past decried the congestion in Kenya’s prisons, which she observed during her visit to Kiambu GK prison months ago.

She noted with concern that the petty offenders would be turned into hard core criminals after being locked up for long periods with the hardcore criminals.

The detention centre incorporated at the Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre in Rumuruti would be an avenue for the transformation of the petty offenders from a life of drug peddling and drug use.

The centre will include a rehabilitation centre, detention centre, prayer centre,cerebral palsy and autism physiotherapy centre, TVET, sports academy, health facility, agribusiness, and boarding facilities.

“There will be 360-degree transformation of our children at this centre so they can become responsible fathers and mothers in the land. Our young men will stop seeking cocaine and other drugs, and instead speak about their families,” said Pastor Dorcas.

Inline with the office of the spouse of the Deputy President (OSDP) vision of ‘A Dignified Future for Vulnerable Populations’, even such petty offenders can be transformed and lead a dignified life and future, and not be condemned forever for the crime they commit.

Pastor Dorcas urged the residents to position themselves as the facility would bring physical, social and economic transformation to the remote and dry area of Laikipia county.

The residents are pastoralists from different communities that include the Maasai, Turkana, Samburu who live in mud-walled houses.

The establishment of the centre will follow the best practices Pastor Dorcas learnt in Israel when she visited different health villages that were located in the mountains, along the beach and in the desert. The location of the villages was strategic, giving those in addictions a serene environment of reflection and detoxing from the psychoactive substances in their bodies.

Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu said the county government, including the Laikipia County Assembly, were in support of the establishment of the centre, saying it would transform thousands of lives in Laikipia County and the country.

He also supported the flagship agenda of the OSDP of uplifting, restoring and dignifying the boys and men in the country who were lost in different addictions.

“We, the county government welcome this project, which shall be a game changer for this nation. An integrated wellness and rehabilitation centre, and the only one in Kenya,” said Governor Irungu.

Igwamiti Ward MCA Irene Wachuka (Mama Yao) said that the assembly leadership was fully behind the project, which would impact the lives of the youth.

Pastor Dorcas urged themselves to position themselves as the facility would bring physical and economic transformation to the remote area of Laikipia County.

The residents are pastoralists from different communities that include the Maasai,Turkana, Samburu who live in mud-walled houses.

The establishment of the centre will follow the best practices Pastor Dorcas learnt in Israel when she visited different health villages that were located in the mountains, along the beach and in the desert. The location of the villages is strategic, giving those in addictions a serene environment of reflection and detoxing from the psychoactive substances in their bodies.

The OSDP vision is hinged on three pillars; the boy child, widows and orphans, and people with disabilities, and a foundation of chaplaincy, outreach and family values.

Pastor Dorcas works closely with the clergy and some who attended the ground breaking ceremony included Bishop Pius Muiru and his wife, SUPKEM National Women Representative Mama Rukia Yusuf, SUPKEM Kakamega Women Representative AishaJuma, Bishop Henry Mulandi and his wife, and Evangelist Lucy Wangunjiri and the husband, among many others.

Juma stood in support of the OSDP program saying the Muslim community was fully behind Pastor Dorcas in her firm stand against the spread of LGBTQ ideologies in the country.

“Lastweek, the Muslim community spoke strongly against LGBTQ, and when Pastor Dorcaswas at the Maasai Mara University, she also advanced the same cause. We are glad and in support of such leadership against practices that will destroy themoral fabric of our society,” said Juma.

The tens of clergy dedicated the grounds where the Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre will be established, even as Pastor Dorcas broke the ground signifying the start of the project.

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