27 November 2012

Kenya: Circumcisers Head for Tanzania As New FGM Law Bites

Circumcisers and elders in Kuria community are opting to practice Female Genital Mutilation in Tanzania for fear of being arrested.

This is due to tough penalties outlined in the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Bill of 2010 which states that offenders will serve up to seven years or a fine of Sh500,000 or both.

According to Kuria East DO1 Chaka Nyamawi, having been made aware of these penalties, many parents are now fearful of conducting the vice in Kenya.

" We however remain vigilant to ensure that parents and elders do not move girls across the border," he said. Kuria East deputy police chief, Joshua Chesire, said they have also applied pressure on the chiefs.

"Chiefs know that if FGM is practised in their location they risk loosing their job and face the law together with the actual perpetrators," Chesire said.

The two leaders said that last year during December holidays when the Kuria circumcise girls, they met resistance from locals. They however said this would not deter them from stopping the practise.

"Last year locals carrying bows, arrows and spears stormed the Kuria East DC offices and burned an effigy of the DC saying he was dead. This time we will be more vigilant and we are ready to persecute anybody who will circumcise our girls," Chesire said.

Kuria West district Children Officer, John Langat, said since these tough measures were instituted, they have seen some head way. "Last year, we saved 123 girls at St Mary's Mabera High School in Kuria West and over 200 at Komotobo Mission in Kuria East," he said.

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