The Star (Nairobi)

20 February 2012

Kenya: ACK Wants Children Abuse in Isiolo Probed

THE Anglican Church of Kenya has called for investigation into an allegation that 30 orphaned children were mistreated at the Child Welfare Society of Kenya in Isiolo county. The children fled the centre last Sunday to the church allegedly for fear of intimidation and embarrassment by its caretakers a day after they took over the management from Isiolo childrens home following a court order from the high court.

Anglican parish priest Mr Joshua Umuro, who hosted the children for the last five days, condmed the act and called for a thourough investigations by independent body to establish the truth behind the claims. Mr Umuro said it was unacceptable for the custodians of the children to turn against them and that the suspects must be warned and reminded that the childrens act protects them from any violations of their rights. "We are calling on the government and other actors in children department to move with speed and ensure that this children are in safe hands," said Mr Umuro during a meeting at the centre.

Isiolo Central district officer Rebecca Wakabe said the government will not tolerate any insitution or organization to mishandle or mistreat children intrusted to them by guardians or government officials. She warned that the government will close down the insitutiton if the cases of harrasment or misconduct by the staffs continue to violate the rights of the children in the center.

During the occassion, the leaders meeting held at the institution resolved that there be a close monitoring of the orphanage centre by the government and other actors in children deaprtment for further action. The institution had faced an ownership row between Isiolo Children's Home and Child Welfare Society of Kenya in the last two years.

The Isiolo children's homes officials last week were surprised to see new team invade the place with the police in order to position themselves in the center over the weekend. An interim chairman Mr Kirimi Kiambati led Child Welfare society team into the institution with a court order to eject the management from the office. Following the wrangles the donars have withdrawn their support from sponsoring more than 100 orphaned children in the area.

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