Two Kenyan parliamentarians are winning public support for their proposed legal amendment that repeat sexual offenders be chemically castrated. Adelenia Mwau and Njoki Ndung’u, supported by the other 20 female MPs, will table a Bill to this effect when Parliament reopens next month.
Nominated members of the governing rainbow coalition are currently lobbying the 202 male parliamentarians, none of whom has publicly opposed the castration proposal, but many have privately expressed reservations. However, Mwau and Ndung’u have scored a propaganda victory by managing to equate opposition to their proposal with support for rapists.
Confronted with a marked increase in reported cases of rape and child sexual abuse, there is a public clamour for tougher action against offenders. In this climate, it is unsurprising that the castration proposal has been so widely accepted, despite opposition from both the Muslim and Christian establishments.
The Kenya Medical Association has also raised doubts about the practicality of chemical castration as well as its effectiveness. None of this has deterred the campaigners, who are confidently predicting that there will not be a single vote against the castration amendment to existing sexual offences law. ”Nobody wants to be known as pro-rape,” one of them noted.