The children service week at the Nakuru Law courts came to an end on Friday with the Lady Justice Martha Koome-led task force decrying the high number of defilement cases being reported.
Addressing media n Nakuru on Friday, Ms Anne Thiong’o from Children Department services and also a member of the task force said the task force is of concern of the high cases of defilement in Nakuru with Kaptembwa leading in the same.
While noting negligence on the side of parenting, she called on parents to take up their responsibility of parenting in order to reduce some of these cases.
She also called on lawyers to embrace and show up to offer probono services especially in cases involving children.
“We have a concern of the high defilement cases at the Nakuru law courts and this shows that the society is lost. We are therefore calling on the government to ensure they take up responsibility in their parenting role” said Ms Anne Thiong’o.
This even as Kaptembwa estate in Nakuru Town West has recorded the highest number of defilement cases against minors as recorded during the just concluded Children Service Week at the Nakuru law courts.
This is according police officer in charge of gender desk at the Kaptembwa Police station Gender officer Beth Kamau who said among 62 cases presented before the courts,20 are from Kaptembwa.
The officer attributing this to the high population in the area as the major contributor to the high number of such cases.
She however commended the role played by the Children Service Week in handling the backlog of cases.
“Kaptembwa has had the highest number of defilement cases and this can be linked to the high population in the area. The service week has however helped in clearing the backlog of cases” she said.
However, the officer noted that lack of witnesses and absconding of court sessions has remained a major challenge.Another challenge is in the area of DNA test in cases involving children as in most police stations the OCSs claim that they are not facilitated with the Authority to incur expenditure-AIE.
This has led to the gender officers forcing themselves into their pockets to ensure that the process sails through for justice to be served.
“As gender desk we still go through a lot and times during DNA tests we are forced to dig into our pockets to facilitate the same. Our appeal is that the gender desks be recognized and supported” said the officer.
Sentiments echoed by Officers Agnes Makena and Salome Wanjiru Waithaka from Children department Nakuru West and Nakuru East sub counties respectively.
Nakuru advocate Sylvia Muchiri who has been offering pro-bono services in cases involving children addressing media at the end of the Children Service week commended the mediation aspect in handling the cases.
She called on other advocates to embrace the same adding that the delay in justice is not because of the Judiciary staff but it is due to various reasons among them failure by witnesses to show up.
“The children Service week has been very instrumental in ensuring we clear the backlog of cases involving children” she said.
Sentiments echoed by Lydia Muriuki from legal Resource Foundation which in partnership with Centre for Enhancing Democracy and good governance-CEDGG are implementing a project in Nakuru Town seeking to prevent violence against women and girls.
While noting that children cases constitutionally take close to 6 months to be finalized and ruling made,Ms Lydia lauded the judiciary for the Children Service week for the ensuring that the cases are handled within the week and justice served.
“We must laud the Judiciary and the officers involved in the whole process. Ours is to ensure that justice is served to both parties” she said.
According to Principal Magistrate Joe Omido, of the 13 magistrates, six magistrates had been assigned to handle the cases where the children are either complainant, victims, abandoned or neglected.
PHOTO/Pristone Mambili: Ms Anne Thiong’o from Children Department services and also a member of the Lady Justice Martha Koome-led task force