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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Man defends marrying a ten-year-old



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By GEORGE MUNENE and CHARLES MWANIKI 
Posted  Monday, January 16  2012 at  22:30
A 35-year-old man stunned a Kirinyaga court on Monday with claims that he was legally married to a 10-year-old girl.
Mr James Maina from Kiangai Village in Ndia Division told Kerugoya senior principal magistrate Hannah Ndung’u that he was betrothed to the girl by her parents.
He denied that he had abducted the girl and was unlawfully living with her as a wife.
“I would like the parents of the girl to be summoned so that they can speak the truth,” he said.
But the magistrate entered a plea of not guilty and released him on a Sh150,000 cash bail until February 2, when the case will be heard.
However, the accused could not raise the bond and was remanded in prison.
The court directed the children’s department to the take the girl to Murang’a Juvenile Home until the case was heard and determined.
This followed an application by the prosecution that the minor needed care and protection as she was a key witness.
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Mr Maina is accused of defiling and subjecting the girl to early marriage since August last year.
The minor was rescued from his house on Thursday last week after police were tipped off by villagers.
The girl was said to have been married off by her parents after receiving a Sh5,000 bride wealth.
There was scanty information on the district or exact location in Coast where the girl came from.
At the same time, two young men who pleaded guilty to charges of gang raping a woman before a Nyeri court will know their fate on Tuesday.
Mr Kelvin Kiragu and Mr Henry Gwandaru were accused of raping the woman at Gachatha trading centre on December 30, 2011.
They are said to have raped the woman in turns.
Nyeri senior principal magistrate Daniel Ogembo had insisted that they consider their replies to the charges carefully.
He instructed the court clerk to read the charges to the pair thrice, both in Kikuyu and Kiswahili to ensure that they understood the gravity of the charges facing them.
Each time the two answered that it was true that they raped the woman.
However, Mr Ogembo directed that the two be remanded overnight at the Nyeri Police Station to allow an age assessment test to be done on Ngari because he did not disclose his age before the court.
Elsewhere, two men denied stealing livestock worth Sh305,000 from a farmer in Kieni.
Mr James Gicheru and Mr Richard Murage were accused of stealing 61 goats from Mr John Mwangi on December 14, 2011 at Karagaini Village.

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