PARENTING

How safe are our children?

Baby Shantel and Linda Cherono are the latest to be kidnapped and killed

In Summary

• Atrocities against children unheard of in the era of our grandfathers now common

• It is a mystery how society has lost its Africanism and culture of protecting the young 

A parent panics after her child is abducted
A parent panics after her child is abducted
Image: NOUN PROJECT

With the recent cases of evils against children, this is the main question that runs through every parent’s mind.

Children are not safe in school or even at home, which was thought to be the safest.

Recently, eight-year-old Shantel Nzembi went missing from her home in Kitengela.

Baby Shantel had gone out to play with other children from their neighborhood.

Hours later, the mother received a phone call from unknown people who claimed to have Shantel in their custody and demanded a ransom.

A few days later, her body was found dumped at Orata in Noonkopir.

At Moi’ Bridge in Eldoret, the mutilated body of a 13-year-old girl was found by villagers.

Linda Cherono had left her relative’s home to go the town centre to plait her hair. That was the last time her relatives saw her alive.

Cherono is originally from Baringo. She had visited her relatives in Eldoret as she waited to join Form 1 in August.

CCTV footage from a nearby shop showed Cherono walking behind a stranger who the police now suspect to be Cherono’s killer.

Dreams and visions of these two young souls were cut short by the cruel hands of death imposed on them by evil people.

These are just but two cases of how the society has turned evil such that you can no longer trust even your own blood.

In our own houses, our own family members are turning against their children by defiling and sodomising their sons and daughters.

In many instances, victims in such cases are denied justice as these cases are swept under kept the carpet and solved within the family, popularly known as “kinyumbani”.

In Mombasa, a mother working in Malindi entrusted her mother-in-law with her two-year-old daughter.

The mother expected the grandmother to take care of her grandchild as she should with her child.

However, a few months later, the mother learnt that her daughter had been sexually abused, not once or twice, but several times.

It was evident that the culprit was within the family, but the suffering mother was told by the family, including her own husband and the father of the girl, not to report the matter to the police as the family will investigate the claims.

These were not claims as doctors from Coast general hospital and Tudor District hospital had confirmed that the girl had been sexually abused.

Who will protect our children in the face of these evils?

Atrocities against children were unheard of during the era of our grandfathers.

In those years, children were a blessing to the society who were protected by every human being. Children belonged to the community and every one had a responsibility to protect, guide and correct a child.

Our ancestors must be turning in their graves at how human beings have turned into monsters and lost their humanity.

How the current society lost its Africanism and culture of protecting the young is still a mystery.

The police and judiciary should help the society in stopping this menace by bringing to justice every soul that poses a danger to our children.

They should work to expedite cases of injustice against the future leaders.

But as the government authorities work to incarcerate culprits, the society should reset to a time when protecting children was a communal affair.

Edited by T Jalio 

This story first appeared on Sasa Digital, accessible on Sundays by dialling *550*3#

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