13 May 2002

Kenya: Children's Cabinet Cries Foul Over Trip

The Children's Cabinet yesterday cried foul over the representation of Kenyan children at the just -concluded UN special session of the General Assembly on children.

The Minister for Transport and Communication in the Children's Cabinet, Jared Owinyo, took to task his counterpart, Assistant Minister for Transport and Communication Mathias Keah, over the selection, saying the two children who represented the country were hand-picked by the Government.

Owinyo said the Kenyan delegation was not a true reflection of the Kenyan children. "The two children who represented Kenya were picked by the Home Affairs Ministry because their parents had a say in the deal," he claimed.

He said Kencell Communications donated air tickets but when it came to the selection, a senior employee in the Home Affairs Ministry allegedly demanded that her child be selected for the trip or the tickets be nullified.

Owinyo accused the Director for Children Services in the Ministry, Mr Sammy ole Kwala, of playing down the issue when the Cabinet went to see him over the trip.

He also accused the Kenyan Alliance for Advancement of Children (KAAC) of complicity in the matter.

Trouble started when Mr Keah, who was giving a speech during a Kenya Episcopal Conference press briefing, said the Government enacted the Media Bill to protect children from an irresponsible press.

The comments he made regarding the Government's commitment to the protection of children's rights by enacting the Children's Act was the ground on which he was pinned down.

The architects of the Children's Act were also accused of abandoning the Children's Cabinet .

Newton Kulundu, who heads the Parliamentary Committee on Children's Act, was said to have gone to the summit, leaving behind the Cabinet.

Copyright © 2002 The East African Standard. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.