Why New Bill Suggested by Governor Wangamati Won’t Curb Teenage Pregnancies

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As Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya was bursting into celebration after His County produced the country’s top performer Rawlings Odhiambo in this year’s K.C.P.E results with 453 marks out 500, his boundary counterpart and namesake Wycliffe Wangamati was left pondering on the report by Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Amina Mohamed putting Bungoma as the county with the highest number of teenage pregnancies.

Announcing the results live on a national broadcaster, the report was not only embarrassing to the Governor and his administration but also to the parents, teachers and all other stakeholders in the education sector within Bungoma County.

This came barely two years after another alarming report released in 2016 by the department of Health in Bungoma County showed that 50,000 school-going girls dropped out of school due to early pregnancies.

The notable constituencies that lead in teenage pregnancies in Bungoma include Kanduyi Constituency represented by Member of Parliament Wafula Wamunyinyi, Mt. Elgon, Bumula and Kabuchai, says the report.

But what disturbs me is how nobody seems concerned with this unfortunate trend.

However, speaking yesterday at KMTC grounds during a funeral function of retired teacher Richard Namasaka, Governor Wangamati expressed his frustrations on the vise and challenged all the leaders to play vital roles in curbing these cases.

“As the County Government, we are going all out to sensitize parents and children to avoid these cases; but as we do that, I also want to urge legislators from this region to come up with punitive bills that can tame the culprits,” Wangamati said.

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CLAWLESS LAWS

Buy what will a new bill do to these raising cases of pregnancies? Already the Sexual Offence Act is very clear about the punishment on the perpetrators.

For instance, the over 50,000 cases of teenage pregnancies have occurred when the sexual offence act in place.

The fact that there are laws stating the punitive measures for murderers has not stopped Kenyans from committing the crime. The existence of punitive measures on looters of public funds have not stopped cartels from stealing from the taxpayer. The cyber crime law has not stopped hackers from penetrating the systems of financial institutions. Same thing on the hate speech which has not stopped leaders from inciting communities as well as the punitive traffic laws that have not stopped rogue drivers from slaying the lives of passengers on roads.

Speaking of traffic laws, the same laws stating the punishment for motorists and passengers did not stop Governor Wangamati himself from riding on a motorbike without a helmet while inspecting a road construction in Tongaren Constituency on the Saturday 5th of August, 2018, an offence he has so far never been arrested for.

This photo was taken on the 5th of August, 2018 showing Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati (in red circle, back) riding on a motorbike without a helmet and a reflector jacket along Makunga-Karima road in Tongaren Constituency, Bungoma County, contrary to the existing traffic laws. The Governor wants a new bill to curb teenage pregnancies.PHOTO/GOVERNOR’S PRESS

The harsh truth is that these cases will not end any soon no matter the new bills even if courts hang 300 offenders in one day.

In a society where parents and guardians spend 13 hours searching for family bread and little or no time to monitor the movements of their kids when they are away, the war against TP ends up curtailed.

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FAILED PARENTHOOD

Parents have also allowed their kids as young as twelve years to have phones without the urge to know the effects of such actions especially when it comes to chatting with the sex predators.

The school administrations have also failed the society. Teachers order students to report to school as early as 6.30AM, meaning the children from distant areas have to leave home at 5AM before trekking to school. No parent or teacher wants to know the danger they are exposing those children to. Funny enough, some teachers take advantage of the wee hours to sleep with the minors in the staff rooms.

In the evening, the same desperate girls leave the school compound as late as 6.30PM and sometimes when it’s raining, leaving them at the mercy of the boda boda riders who are ready to offer free ferrying services in exchange of that soft flesh.

Women and mothers have also allowed themselves to be utensils of sex where Sh500 from a man is enough to throw away their thighs. You are making those phone calls to your sponsors to send you money in front of your children and expect your children to look South.

Most of those young children are doing exactly what their parents do.

UNCONCERNED LEADERS

Instead of wasting energy on tabling new useless PR Bills in parliament, the local leaders should use the same zeal and motivation they used while rallying those parents to vote for them on fighting this monster.

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Our local leaders are jokers and selfish. Provided their children study in prestigious schools, anything to do with teenage pregnancy does not concern them. The work of party leaders has remained hawking party tickets to the highest bidders in gubernatorial races at Ksh200 million cash money delivered to their village homes in choppers. What is teenage pregnancy to them? To them, teenage pregnancies are marshals of future votes.

That anger aside anyway. They say if  you can’t beat them, join them. If curbing TP is becoming hectic, then let the focus be on the use of condoms.

Even if splashing condoms at the school gates where children pick as they leave the compound is tantamount to promoting sex activities, are these not the same teachers and parents pausing for Facebook and WhatsApp photos exposing their flesh as others curve their buttocks towards the camera for men to see?

Now that have made our bed, let’s lie on it – focus on telling the children to use condoms instead.

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Simiyu Wakajuaness

Blogger Simiyu Wakajuaness is a scriptwriter, actor and stage director with ardent passion in the media and public relations in this digital world. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook on the icons below...

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