Police rescue schoolgirls who had been married off

Gichugu in Kirinyaga.

Gichugu in Kirinyaga.

Police in Kirinyaga County have rescued two schoolgirls who had been married off.

The secondary school girls, aged 16, were allegedly forced to marry by their parents when the government closed all learning institutions in March last due to Covid-19.

When schools reopened last week, the girls did not report back, raising concern among some Gichugu residents.

On Sunday, the residents reported the matter to the local assistant chief, who in turn alerted the police.

Officers raided the houses where the girls were living with their husbands, rescued the teenagers and apprehended one of the suspects. The other escaped.

"We were tipped-off on the whereabouts of the girls and we were able to arrest one man who is being held at Kianyaga police station for questioning," local police head Anthony Wanjuu said.

The police boss said they are pursuing the other suspect

He said the two men will be charged in court.

Mr Wanjuu said the government discourages early marriages and those involved will not be spared.

"We shall deal ruthlessly with those ruining the lives of the young girls," he said adding that those rescued will be taken back to their respective schools to resume study.

Mr Wanjuu said the girls' parents will be summoned to the police station for questioning.

"The parents should explain why they gave out  their daughters who are underage and in school for marriage. They could also be prosecuted," he said.

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