Police rescue 12-year-old girl from marriage to 2 men

Authorities in Kenya have rescued a 12-year-old girl after she was forcefully married off to a 51-year-old man from who she escaped to get married to another 35-year-old, all within one month.

Police rescue 12-year-old girl from marriage to 2 men

After fleeing from the forced marriage to a man old enough to be her father, the poor girl then got married to a 35-year-old.

It is a crime in Kenya to marry someone who is under 18 years of age, just as in many other countries.

Thankfully, she got rescued by a children's rights campaigner and government officials.

Joshua Kaputah from the Narok County Peace Association said he was tipped off about the girl when he was in the process of rescuing another girl.

"The father gave her off to the elderly man to be married. She had no option than to get married to the younger man," he told the BBC.

He attributed the increased cases of child marriages in Kenya to poverty and the closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Some families are hungry and the prospect of receiving two or three cows as dowry is quite tempting," he said.

The BBC's Peter Mwai in Nairobi reported that marrying off underage girls has been an issue of concern among the Maasai community who inhabit Narok County.

According to him, Maasai girls tend to be viewed by men in charge of households as wealth, and are married off to a man chosen by the father in exchange for cattle.

The government has been cracking down on the tradition but it still thrives partly due to poor enforcement of existing laws.

Kenya's Standard newspaper reports that after the first groom offered four cows as a dowry, the girl protested against getting married but was then beaten up by her male cousins.

"I escaped and since I could not go back to my father's home for fear of being reprimanded, I eloped with a 35-year-old man, who was married," she is quoted as saying in the Standard.

Mr Kaputah said that the girl's father had then found her and taken her back to the 51-year-old.

When Mr Kaputah arrived with government officials, the man had already disappeared.

Kenyan media reports suggest that police have launched a manhunt for youngster’s father and the two men who had married the girl after they both have gone into hiding.

If convicted, they could be sent to prison for up to five years and/or be fined of up to 1 million Kenyan shillings (£8,000; $10,000).

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Fuel queues may persist until we fully deregulate - Minister

Fuel queues may persist until we fully deregulate - Minister

Poor Health Care: Nigerian man solo-protests at the Ekweremadus' trial [Photos]

Poor Health Care: Nigerian man solo-protests at the Ekweremadus' trial [Photos]

Barkindo’s death a huge loss to Nigeria — Orji Kalu

Barkindo’s death a huge loss to Nigeria — Orji Kalu

No Corps member was raped in Akwa Ibom - NYSC

No Corps member was raped in Akwa Ibom - NYSC

Late Barkindo, a worthy ambassador of Nigeria – Atiku

Late Barkindo, a worthy ambassador of Nigeria – Atiku

Boris Johnson to resign as UK Prime Minister

Boris Johnson to resign as UK Prime Minister

Pulse List: Popular Nigerians in Kuje Prison

Pulse List: Popular Nigerians in Kuje Prison

Kuje prison attack: US lists security tips for Nigerians

Kuje prison attack: US lists security tips for Nigerians

Osun 2022: Buhari presents APC flag to Gboyega Oyetola

Osun 2022: Buhari presents APC flag to Gboyega Oyetola