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State issues warning to Kericho residents over FGM

Kericho County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo has directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to carry out an investigation and arrest suspects behind the retrogressive and archaic Female Genital Mutilation that has re-emerged in Kericho County. 

The CC disclosed that three elderly women who are mothers have sustained serious injuries and are now undergoing treatment at Fortenant Sub County Hospital in Kericho after undergoing FGM.

The mothers were rescued from seclusion by Kunyak Chiefs from the hands of a circumciser who was reported to hail from Cherara sub-location in Kokwet location, Kipkelion West sub-county.

Mr. Kitiyo noted that there is a resurgence of FGM activities in the county, and there are concerns that there is the existence of a cultic movement that is forcing married women to undergo FGM, which he said was an 18th-century retrogressive culture.

Mr. Kitiyo, who spoke during the Kericho County Jamhuri Day celebrations at Chilchila Village in Forte Tenan, Kipkelion West Sub-County, also disclosed that some boys undergoing rites of passage (Morongochki) in the area attacked some women and injured them.

The CC, who also read the president’s Jamhuri Day speech, issued a stern warning to the culprits, saying they will face the full force of the law. 

“Six boys are currently admitted at Kericho County Referral Hospital after developing complications during traditional circumcision, where one boy is reported to have had his manhood chopped off by a traditional circumciser,” said Kitiyo.

The CC condemned the act, saying that parents should be cautious when engaging traditional circumcisers who are unprofessional for the safety of their children.

Kericho County Governor Dr. Eric Mutai urged all stakeholders to join in the fight against the triple threat, disclosing that the HIV prevalence rate stands at 3.1, with new infections among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 29 contributing 51 per cent. 

The government was concerned that the county’s teenage pregnancy prevalence remained high at 21 per cent. 

By Dominic Cheres and Kibe Mburu

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