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What! GEMA’s Remedy to retain The Tyranny of Numbers will amaze you.

A file picture of a pregnant woman. The GEMA community is a worried lot due to the dwindling number of new births in the region.
Elders in the Mt Kenya region are scratching their heads bald trying to come up with a solution to dwindling ‘tyranny of numbers’ among the ‘House of Mumbi’ which is blamed on, among other things, the prevalent consumption of illicit alcohol.

In a bid to stem a, a group of leaders have come up with what they believe is It is for this reason that they have suggested that the only way to make maternities and nursery schools in the region busy again was to discourage the ‘one man, one woman’ rule and reclaim the frowned upon practice of polygamy from the cultural dustbin.
Led by the Nyumba Kumi Security Initiative chairman Joseph Kaguthi during a recent Nyumba Kumi sensitisation tour in Embu for lay readers, the elders reckoned that the falling birthrate in Mt Kenya region could only be won via one magic bullet: Polygamy.

The once no-nonsense provincial administrator argued that polygamy was traditionally practised by the Kikuyu community and there was nothing unbiblical about it. Kaguthi suggested that marrying more than woman be brought back in modern Kenya in a bid to address this challenge.

“The clergy came to us and prohibited from practising polygamy. There is nothing evil about it and we should therefore embrace some of these good practices that held the community together,” said Kaguthi. 

He added that he was more worried about the death rate/birth rate imbalance in the region than crime rates as, if not checked, would render the community extinct one day. 

Njuri Ncheke secretary general Phares Rutere supported Kaguthi’s sentiments by encouraging men who could afford to marry more than one wife not to shy away from it.

GEMA chairman Lawi Imathiu, who is a former head of the Methodist Church of Kenya, appealed to the authorities to step up the crackdown of illicit brews in the region, which he blamed for the falling birth rates. 

While polygamy as the solution to a decreasing population may be new, efforts to encourage women in the region to give birth to more children are not new.

According to data, 44% of families in Mt Kenya region are headed by single parents with majority of prisoners discovered to have come from single-parent homes.

“Polygamy can address this,” quipped Kaguthi.

To beat the challenge of dowry, Kaguthi suggested that the region’s  council of elders to come up with ways to standardise the bride price rates to encourage young people to get married, not to just to one woman, but to as many as they wanted. 

In 2015, section of the women in Kiambu County held peaceful demonstration decrying the state of their men whom they said had failed in their conjugal duties due to overindulgence in alcohol. These women claimed that their men, most of them in their prime age, had technically abandoned their homes and abdicated their bedroom obligations at the expense of their wives. Within the same period, Public Service and Gender Affairs Cabinet secretary, Sicily Kariuki, was reported to have rewarded pregnant women in Kiambu County with a whopping Sh. 30,000 each.  Nakuru East MP David Gikaria was also quoted promising to reward every pregnant woman he came across with Sh1,000. 

In May last year, Murang’a Women’s Representative Sabina Chege was reported to have given Sh1,000 to pregnant women in appreciation of their “achievement”.

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