Matiang’i says plan to lower sex consent age to 16 years is ‘nonsense’
Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has expressed his objection to plans to lower age for sex consent from 18 to 16 years.
According to him, children should be protected at all costs.
“I want to assure you we can never be mad enough to support such nonsense regarding the consent age….There is some madness that people engage in that is so difficult to understand,” he said during a prize giving ceremony at Pangani Girls High School in Nairobi on Friday.
“How on earth? Ni kazi umekosa? How can we be debating about endangering the lives of our children,” he posed.
The Interior further urged parents and government officials to instead work together to find solutions to challenges facing the youth such as addiction to gambling and gaming.
In March this year, three Court of Appeal judges recently proposed an amendment to the Sexual Offences Act to have the age of sex consent.
Justices Daniel Musinga, Roselyn Nambuye and Patrick Kiage questioned the penal provisions in the Sexual Offences Act No.3 of 2006.
According to the judgment delivered on March 22, 2019, many other jurisdictions only criminalise sexual conduct with children younger than 16 years.
They cited a case of a British woman against a doctor who offered contraceptives to five 15-year-old girls without parental consent.
It was said that the young ones might not have attained the age of maturity but they may well have reached the age of discretion to make intelligent and informed decisions about their lives and their bodies.
However, John Chigiti, a children’s advocate, maintains that such a proposal needs to take into account the background as to why the initial sex consent age was determined as 18 years.
“What sex will do is expose these kids to abortion, change them from the classroom and put them in maternity wards and this will interfere with the reproductive health of that child. If we reduce to 16 years we will reduce it to 15 years the other year and 12 years the other year,” said Chigiti.
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