County wants sex offenders castrated
21 February 2014, 20:18
Nairobi - Authorities in the western part of the country demanded the government pass a law allowing for rapists and other sex offenders to be castrated, saying it was struggling to cope with a spike in cases of rape, paedophilia and bestiality.
Legislators in Baringo County in Kenya's Rift Valley province said current punishments were far too lenient.
"We in Baringo are ready to push all the way for castration," top local health official and legislator Solomon Chemjor told AFP. "We want our country to be safe for our children. We have to protect the social family fabric in our society."
"Defilement has become a major problem. A week cannot pass without a case being reported. It is not only against children, but also against the disabled, the aged and domesticated animals," he said, blaming alcoholism and unemployment for the problem.
"The offenders are taking advantage of the leniency of the Kenyan courts," he added.
Officials from Baringo did not give any clear statistics on sex crimes in the area, or how they compare with the rest of the country, but Chemjor said there were plenty of clear signs the problem was worsening.
Rape is a serious problem in Kenya but is seldom taken seriously by the police, rights groups say.
Last year activists seized on the case of a Kenyan schoolgirl who was gang-raped and left confined to a wheelchair, while three of the alleged rapists were ordered by police to cut grass around the police station as punishment.
Earlier this month the public prosecutor's office responded to widespread outrage and ordered the case to be tried in court, and also ordered an investigation into the failure of the police to take the case seriously.