11 June 2019

Kenya: Head Teachers Launch Campaign to Raise Age for Sexual Consent

Photo: Martin Mukangu/Nation Media Group
Kenya Secondary School Heads Association national chairman Kahi Indimuli and KNEC's George Magoha on October 1, 2018.

The proposed age of consent is top of the agenda as secondary schools heads meet in Mombasa for the 44th conference.

On Monday the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) Chairperson Indimuli Kahi, said lowering the age of consent to 16 years portrays the country as losing morals and directions.

"If before age of 18 they are not allowed to drive, drink or do some other things, why do we want them to be allowed to start doing other things?" posed Indimuli.

AGE OF CONSENT

According to the chair, KESSHA wants the consent age for sex be increased to 20 years when the young people have already finished secondary school education.

On March 26, 2019, the Court of Appeal proposed a law change to lower the age of consent to 16 years.

Three judges, Roselyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga and Patrick Kiage, said there is need to amend the Sexual Offences Act because some sections can lead to injustice contrary to the noble intentions of the law.

IMPREGNATED

"Our prisons are teeming with young men serving lengthy sentences for having had sexual intercourse with adolescent girls whose consent has been held to be immaterial because they were under 18 years," the judges ruled.

The judges made the observation in a case where they reversed a 15-year sentence handed over to a man who had impregnated a 17-year-old girl.

They said debate on lowering age of sexual consent was long overdue as men were languishing in jail for sleeping with teens "who were willing to be and appeared to be adults".

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