At least one a case of sexual abuse is reported daily from each of the four subcounties of Embu, county children coordinator Daniel Mundi has said.
“We have cases daily in Runyenjes, Manyatta, Kiritiri and Siakago and this is alarming,” Mundi said.
Mundi said that there is a backlog of sexual offences cases in court and other cases reported at police stations are not promptly investigated.
“The Children’s Act says that a sexual offence involving a minor should be investigated within three months, but we have cases here that are still being investigated one year down the line,” he said.
The coordinator said that most such cases are those of incest where a family member is involved.
“Many cases of child abuse are committed by family members who despite arraignment prefer to settle the matter out of court,” he said.
Mundi spoke in his office in Embu town.
He said parents subject their children to forced labour in Tea plantations in the upper parts of Manyatta and Kirinyaga instead of taking them to school.
Mundi accused parents of negligence and irresponsibility, hence the high number of street children in Embu town.
“Children run away from their homes as their families engage in drug abuse and have no time for them,” he said.
He said that the children’s department will arrest and prosecute parents found neglecting or subjecting their children to illegal labour.
“Those that will be found employing children in their tea plantations and muguka farms will not be spared either,” he warned.