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Police holding woman and daughter over alleged FGM offences

Police in Narok are holding a woman and her 17- year-old daughter who were arrested at Ilkerin in Emurua Dikirr area in Transmara East Sub County for allegedly engaging in the outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Confirming the incident, Transmara East Sub County Police Commander Mr. David Maina Kabuthia said that they received a tip-off from members of the public about the incident that was going on in a home in the area Wednesday and moved to the scene where they found the woman nursing her daughter who is suspected to have undergone the cut.
Mr. Kabuthia said the minor will be arraigned before court charged with the offence of allowing FGM to be performed on her and another charge of failing to report the offence, while the mother will be sentenced for allowing FGM to be performed on her young daughter, abetting FGM, and failing to report the offence among other charges.
FGM and early marriages are rampant in Narok due to social-cultural beliefs and arresting and prosecution of perpetrators is normally met with stiff opposition by the community. That being the scenario, it is very difficult to secure a conviction due to lack of cooperation from the family and some witnesses who are often compromised or threatened.
Earlier this week, police arrested 10 women in Musotik village in Mugor area in Transmara East Sub County which is mostly inhabited by members of the Kipisigs community for allegedly engaging in the outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) activities.
Although FGM was banned 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 Somalis leading at 94 per cent closely followed by Samburu at 86 per cent.
The Abagusi and Maasai communities are said to be third and fourth respectively with a prevalence of 84 and 78 per cent respectively.
The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic where the girls have been forced to stay at home for long has created a conducive environment for proponents of FGM and early marriages.

By Mabel Keya-Shikuku

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