Kenya: CS Matiangi Urges Multipronged Approach to Arrest Rising Femicide Cases

21 November 2019

Nairobi — Plans are underway to convene both State and non-state actors to discuss new measures to tame rising cases of violence against women and children which the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi Thursday described as a national security threat.

Matiangi Thursday said the rampant killings have left a disjointed society living in fear.

He said there was need for a candid discussion on the emotive topic in order to come up with probable solutions.

"Something has gone wrong. There's no way we can continue this way," Matiangi said.

"What kind of men are we raising? Have we become such an animal society that we're feeding on our wives and children?"

His sentiments came days after a senior military officer was identified as the key suspect in the brutal murder of his wife and strangled s two children, latest in a series of similar harrowing incidents.

Major Peter Mugure, still in police custody pending the conclusion of a police investigation, is accused of killing his 31-year-old Joyce Syombua and two kids aged 5 and 10 and proceeded to bury them in a shallow grave in Laikipia County.

The three went missing on October 26 after visiting Mugure.

In yet another incident, a newspaper journalist was stabbed to death at a female police officer's home in a suspected case of a love triangle.

"We cannot go on this way. We must look for a solution to this problem," Matiangi asserted.

"We need to have a candid, national conversation on this matter."

Matiangi said the interior ministry was already working on measures to make police stations friendly especially to children to encourage reporting of incidents.

He also called for candid conversations on mental health which is partly attributed to rising cases of violence.

"There is the issue of mental health that we need to address in the society. We need to have a serious national conversation. There is no way we can move forward as a country with the level of violence we are witnessing around. It is totally unacceptable," he said.

The CS was speaking during the inaugural Senior Women's Conference at the Kenya Prison Training College located in Ruiru, within Kiambu County.

He urged religious institutions to take up the challenge and help the government to address any outstanding issues.

The conference was attended by four other Cabinet Secretaries - Prof Margaret Kobia of Public Service, Youth and Gender, her Defence counterpart Raychelle Omamo, Faridah Karoney of Lands and Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs).

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