Street Children arrested in Malindi
28 March 2012, 18:03
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Provincial administration in Malindi has embarked on an exercise to clean the tourist town by arresting all streets children loitering in the tourist’s hub as well as their parents who will be prosecuted for child neglect.
Maweni location assistant chief Mr. Emmanuel Mwayele in assistance of Administration police on Tuesday arrested 6 street children who areamong 20 targeted children for inconveniencing tourists in the town.
According to chief Mwayele the six arrested children of 9 to12 years are in a group of 20 children who have been stealing money from touristsfrom different areas of the town.
In an interview with journalist, the six children admitted thatat one time managed to steal 100,000 from tourists and divided amongst themselves.
“That day we were a group of 10 and so the cash was divided amongstourselves and got 10,000 each. Some of us took the cash to our parents butothers don’t,” they said.
Speaking to journalists at Malindi children protection enterwhere they had been locked in after they were arrested, they said that some haddropped out of school due to lack of parent financial support while others wereonly boycotting classes to get money for food.
Chief Mwayele said the group was operating like a network inthe town and assured residents that the rest will also be arrested and theirparents prosecuted for child neglect.
“These children some have been severally arrested but theygo back to the streets but now we are telling their parents that afterarresting their children the government is stretching hand to arrest them also,”he added.
He said the streets children had become a major problem becausethey had developed a habit of snatching items from tourists visiting theregion.
Chief Mwayele said some of the children were school childrenwho were just boycotting classes from different schools in Malindi.
“We are holding them at Malindi children protection centeruntil their parents come to pick them because they are known people,” he added.
He urged parents to take care of their children noting thatthe law will take its course to any parent whose child will be found loiteringin the town.
Malindi District Children officer Mrs. Naomi Kazungu saidthat cases of children disturbing tourists visiting the area were increasingevery day.
She said her office had received complains from hoteliersbefore they arrested 19 children last year and 11 on February this year whenthey raided some areas of Malindi tourists hubs.
“Parents have highly contributed to these cases because theyfail to counsel their children and take them back to school. When they stealmoney parents receives them instead of confronting their children and punishthem,” she noted.
She said her officehas received about 900 children cases since January this year.
“We handle many different children cases like child neglect,early marriage, child labor school drop out and pregnancies among other issuesaffecting children in the society.
She appealed to residents in Malindi to ensure that theytake care of their children to avoid being arrested for child neglect.
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