Court cases involving marital affairs particularly child support have become common. It cuts across from a local mwananchi to high-end politicians and it gets messier. Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma, who found himself in the corridors of justice over child support is now pushing for changes in the through the Children’s (Amendment) Bill 2019, which will lock out magistrates who are not married from cases involving children, claiming that they are inexperienced in the matter.
“We need people who are mature and have run families; people who are settled and know that every decision they make can destroy the life of a child completely,” he said while appearing before the National Assembly Labour and Social Welfare Committee.
He went on to insist due to the scarce population of qualified magistrates, unmarried magistrates should only be allowed to handle children’s cases, depending on their level of seniority. He took a jibe at low-level magistrates presiding over the majority of children’s causes and making unpopular orders that not only work against the interests of the child but also end up adversely affecting the child’s future.
His proposal was adopted by the committee and which will now proceed to publish it as a Bill. Kaluma is also pushing to have Children’s Act No. 8 of 2001 amended to ensure equal responsibility by both parties. The Bill amends a section of the Act to make it mandatory for the father and mother of a child to have parental responsibility for the child whether the parents were married at the time the child was being born or did not get married at any point.