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KFCB and CIPK reject lowering of age of sexual consent 

Kenya Films and Classification Board CEO, Ezekiel  Mutua addressing Muslim clerics in Mombasa. He opposed the lowering of the age of sexual consent from 18 to 16, saying there is no good reason for the same.
Photo  by  Geoffrey Mwanyanya/KNA.

Muslim  clerics in Mombasa and the Kenya Films and Classification Board (KFCB) have rejected a proposal to lower the age of consensual sex from 18 to 16 years.

Federation of  Women Lawyers  said the amendment to the Sexual Offences  Act  under  The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Amendment Bill) 2016 is meant to protect boys from being victimized by their girlfriends’ parents.

However, KFCB CEO,  Ezekiel  Mutua said the intention of the amendment was not right and there was no excuse to lower the age for consensual age.

He said the legal age for one to qualify to be called an adult is 18, where one is deemed mature enough to make independent and sound choices.

“It is okay to protect children but it is wrong to handle it from the perspective of this law. There are procedures to take to protect the children and they are contained in the existing laws,” said Mutua.

He spoke at the School of Government in Mombasa during a workshop with Muslim clerics to sensitise them on the KFCB mandate and forge a partnership with them.

Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) Organising Secretary, Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa said though the Islamic religion allowed marriage of women less than 18 years, the laws should be respected.

“Kenya is a secular nation but which operates under laws. The legal age is 18 and that should not change,” said Sheikh Khalifa.

KFCB chairman, Bishop Jackson Kosgey said the age should not be the issue but maturity.

“Sexuality has consequences, including reproductive capacity. Can the 16-year-old child sustain a pregnancy once it’s gotten? Is the 16-year-old boy ready to be a father in case it happens?” posed, Kosgey, adding that the matter should be a carefully thought before being made into law.

FIDA chair, Josephine Mong’are  who led a team drafting the amendments, said the proposed law has nothing to do with protecting predators.

By  Hussein  Abdullahi

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