Members of Parliament are actively supporting the proposed law, which states that every child is entitled to full compensation or property of benefit accruing to them.
According to the Children Bill 2021, proposed by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, every child has a right to inherit property under the Law of Succession Act.
“A person who…deprives a child any property or benefit accruing to the child under or by virtue of the law relating to inheritance commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand shillings, or to both,” read part of Bill.
“The action contemplated in…may be brought by a duly constituted next friend or by any other person in accordance with section Article 22 of the Constitution,” it continued.
Further, MPs proposed the formation of child-friendly protection units in all police stations in the country that will be safe spaces for children in conflict.
“The Inspector General shall establish minor’s protection units in every police station for the purposes of providing on a temporary basis, a safe and non-threatening environment for chiding in conflict with the law,” the bill stated.
These child-friendly protection units will be under the watch of the Director of Children’s Services, who will also be mandated with inspecting the safe spaces and guarding the minors against abuse.
MPs are seeking to amend the Law of Succession Act that provides guidelines on the inheritance of property by dependents or survivors upon the death of their breadwinner.
It outlines who can inherit and how to apply for succession both in cases where there is a valid will and in the absence of one. This also seeks to solve inheritance rows that emerge when the breadwinner passes on.
But most Kenyans do not have a written will that could explain the inheritance rows in families, some of which even play out in the media.
There have been cases where parents die and leave young children who are then disinherited by greedy relatives – something that could soon if the bill is enacted into law.