The EACLJ undertook extensive Civic Education in Samburu County, in partnership with Dr. Josephine Kulea of Samburu Girls Foundation.
The people of Samburu still practice retrogressive traditions, which include marrying off Under-age Children (girls as young as 9 years), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Beading.
Beading is when a young man (also referred to as Moran) identifies a girl to be his girlfriend and gives her a particular beaded necklace...hence the word beading.
This beading is a go-ahead for the Moran to engage in casual and unprotected sex with the girl, who most of the time is too young to comprehend the whole practice. The 'tradition' is unfortunately supported by the elders in society, but if the girl falls pregnant, crude abortion is performed on her to get rid of the foetus... as they consider it bad omen to give birth out of wed-lock.
EACLJ's aim of conducting civic educate in the County was informed by the need to enlighten and empower the people of Samburu on their rights and responsibilities as in the Constitution. This would enable them to report continued practice of the harmful traditions which have been declared illegal.
Following successful training, the EACLJ received a complaint from a group of elders who were disappointed by their Member of the County Assembly (MCA).
They expressed their desire to have him removed from office through a Constitution Petition on the following grounds: -
- He has married an Under Age girl.
- He has impregnated several other Under Age girls.
- He is abusive and not respectful to the electorate.
- He lied about his education qualifications and gave fake documents to the electoral body.
- He married another wife while he was legally married to someone else, which is an act of bigamy.
The EACLJ helped the residents of Angata-Nanyukie Ward in Samburu County to file a Constitutional Petition No.19 of 2016, seeking the following orders: -
- A declaration be issued that the Respondent has contravened the Constitution of Kenya and is not fit to hold Public/ State Office.
- A declaration that the right of representation of the people of Angata-Nanyukie Ward has been violated by the respondent.
- A declaration that the rights of the minor girls have been violated by the respondent.
- The Honorable Court to make such further orders as it deems just and expedient to meet the ends of justice in this petition.
The Court has certified the Petition filed on 18th April, 2016 as Urgent, and directed that the EACLJ serves the respondent, Hon. John Lepil Lolkile aka Lemulugo and all the interested parties in this petition. These include; the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the Attorney General (AG), for an inter-parties hearing on 31st May, 2016.
This is a landmark and historical Petition in this country where local people considered illiterate have come together to demand for Integrity and a Just representation from their leaders; especially on issues touching on Life, Freedom and Liberty for All.