Police in Narok County on Monday afternoon arrested three women in Ilkerin village in Murkan area in Transmara East Sub County for allegedly engaging in the outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) activities.
Confirming the incident, Narok County Police Commander Mr John Kizito Mutoro said that police received a tip-off from members of the public about three women who were hidden in a home and believed to have undergone the cut and moved to the home where they arrested the trio who include; Sharon Cherotich Ngeno, 22, Nelly Chelangat Mutai, 23 and Judy Cherotich Langat,24. Who were recuperating at the home.
The three are being held at Emurua Dikirr Police Station and will be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are complete.
Kizito said the three suspected victims of FGM are above 18 years old will be arraigned in court charged with the offence of allowing the outlawed FGM practice to be performed on them while having full knowledge that it was illegal and another charge of failing to report the offence.
FGM and early marriages are rampant in Narok due to social-cultural beliefs but arrest and prosecution of these kind of cases are normally met by many obstacles and it even becomes difficult to secure a conviction in court due to lack of cooperation from the family and some witnesses who are compromised or threatened.
Due to pressure from the community and their peers, some victims of FGM who are either minors or adults give themselves to undergo the cut which in most cases in done in secrecy for fear of arrest, in order to gain social acceptance.
After the school closed down last year due to Covid-19 pandemic, scores of people were arrested in almost all the six sub-counties in Narok for allegedly engaging the outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) activities and some have their cases pending before the courts.
Some have pleaded guilty to the charges and fined Sh200, 000 each or serve three years in jail but others have their cases pending before court.
Although the practice of FGM was outlawed in Kenya in 2001 under laws that prohibit customs harmful to children and under the FGM Act, 2011, it’s still rampant among the Kenyan communities with the Somali community leading in propagating this medically harmful practice by 94 per cent. They are closely followed by Samburu who practice FGM at a rate of 86 per cent.
The Abagusi and Maasai communities are said to be third and fourth respectively in FGM with a prevalence of 84 and 78 per cent respectively. Over 37 of the 42, now 44 tribal communities in Kenya still practice Female Genital Mutilation.
The preferential age for the procedure used to be 15 but now it’s done to those as young as eight-year-olds where they then then married off.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku