Police rescue 12-year-old girl from marriage to 51-year-old man and another 35-year-old man

Authorities in Kenya have rescued a 12-year-old girl after she was forcefully married off to a 51-year-old man from who she escaped to get married to another 35-year-old, all within one month.

Police rescue 12-year-old girl from marriage to 51-year-old man and another 35-year-old man in one month

According to reports, the girl's father in Narok County west of the capital Nairobi, forced her to marry a 51-year-old man but she escaped after the marriage.


After fleeing from the forced marriage to a man old enough to be her father, the poor girl then got married to a 35-year-old.

It is a crime in Kenya to marry someone who is under 18 years of age, just as in many other countries.

Thankfully, she got rescued by a children's rights campaigner and government officials.


Joshua Kaputah from the Narok County Peace Association said he was tipped off about the girl when he was in the process of rescuing another girl.

"The father gave her off to the elderly man to be married. She had no option than to get married to the younger man," he told the BBC.

He attributed the increased cases of child marriages in Kenya to poverty and the closure of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Some families are hungry and the prospect of receiving two or three cows as dowry is quite tempting," he said.


The BBC's Peter Mwai in Nairobi reported that marrying off underage girls has been an issue of concern among the Maasai community who inhabit Narok County.

According to him, Maasai girls tend to be viewed by men in charge of households as wealth, and are married off to a man chosen by the father in exchange for cattle.

The government has been cracking down on the tradition but it still thrives partly due to poor enforcement of existing laws.

Kenya's Standard newspaper reports that after the first groom offered four cows as a dowry, the girl protested against getting married but was then beaten up by her male cousins.

"I escaped and since I could not go back to my father's home for fear of being reprimanded, I eloped with a 35-year-old man, who was married," she is quoted as saying in the Standard.


Mr Kaputah said that the girl's father had then found her and taken her back to the 51-year-old.

When Mr Kaputah arrived with government officials, the man had already disappeared.

Kenyan media reports suggest that police have launched a manhunt for youngster’s father and the two men who had married the girl after they both have gone into hiding.

If convicted, they could be sent to prison for up to five years and/or be fined of up to 1 million Kenyan shillings (£8,000; $10,000).



Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: