Simanjiro — A couple in Simanjiro District have been sentenced to five years in jail after they were found guilty of performing female genital mutilation (FGM) on their three children.
The Simanjiro District Court has also ordered the pastoralists, Mr Thadey Parokwa, 43, and Luwema Thadey, 34, to pay Sh600,000 in compensation.
The court heard that the couple conspired with a circumciser to perform the genital cutting on the children, who were sent to their grandmother.
District Court magistrate Lugano Kasebele convicted the couple in the small town of Orkesumet.
"The court is satisfied by the evidence produced by the prosecution and hereby the court convicts and sentences you to five years in jail. You are also ordered to pay Sh600,000 in compensation.
"These barbaric practices to children including genital mutilations are still widely and secretly carried out. So, the court imposes this punishment to serve as a lesson to others with similar intention" said the magistrate.
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The duo pleaded with the magistrate to lessen the punishment on the grounds that the three victims and two other children depended on them.
The couple were driven to prison despite being given an option of paying the fine to escape jail. FGM is criminalised in Tanzania since 1998 as the prevalence of the violent practice has decreased from 18 to 10 per cent.
One in ten women in Tanzania (aged 15-49) has undergone FGM. Of these, 35 per cent underwent FGM before the age of one.
Substantial regional disparities exist in the prevalence of FGM: The highest prevalences are found in Manyara, Dodoma and Arusha Regions at 58, 47, and 41 per cent, respectively. Likewise, the FGM prevalence is twice higher in rural areas (13 per cent) than in urban areas (5 per cent).