A six-week-old baby was last weekend rescued from being killed by elders for being a product of incest. The baby, who was delivered on August 28 by a 15-year old standard seven pupil, was in the care of her grandmother.
The elders stormed the home at Mavaka village in Lugari, Kakamega County, on Sunday and demanded that the baby be killed. This was after the mother said she was lured into a relationship by her cousin who impregnated her.
Incest is considered a taboo among the Luhya people and so it is believed any child born out of this cannot live it would invite bad omens to their families.
The child’s grandfather said: “Elders convened a meeting that brought together all family members and they unanimously agreed the baby shouldn’t be part of the family.”
He said the elders wanted to strangle the baby. Matete children’s officer Jackson Murunga went to the rescue after learning of the plan. He went to the home on Monday and took the baby with him, saying he would take him to an orphanage.
Murunga also promised the mother would be counselled. “The girl may be traumatised for the rest of her life. I will ensure she gets good counselling,” he said. The child’s grandmother said neighbours and relatives had advised her to leave the baby at a hospital or a public place.
“Being a Christian, I couldn’t allow it,” she said. The minor said she often thought of selling her baby as “everyone was abusing and shunning me”.
The baby’s father fled.