Many Kenyans have been left shocked as a 9-year-old girl gave birth at a Nairobi Hospital on Wednesday.
Photographs of the smiling minor breastfeeding the infant have been circulating online, although her identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons.
The more disturbing news is that it is the girl’s father who is responsible for the minor’s pregnancy.
It is unclear whether legal action will be taken against him for the callous act of paedophilia, which is illegal in Kenyan law.
The Sexual Offences Act and the Children’s Act both outlaw sexual contact with minors, defined in law as defilement.
“A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child aged eleven years or less shall upon conviction be sentenced to imprisonment for life. A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child between the age of twelve and fifteen years is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty years. A person who commits an offence of defilement with a child between the age of sixteen and eighteen years is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than fifteen years,” reads the law in Section 8 sub-sections 2 to 4.
Although the Nation’s attempts to get clarification from the private city hospital have not yet borne fruit, the incident seems to be only the latest in a string of minors experiencing pregnancies.
Last month, the country was jolted by news of at least nine teenage students at a local secondary school in Nyamira County who have been found pregnant under unclear circumstances.
It was suspected the girls, who are learners at Matutu PAG Mixed Secondary School, became pregnant between April and June 2018.
No arrests have been made in regard to the defilement of the minors that led to the pregnancies.