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Three women charged for engaging in FGM

Three women were arraigned before a Kilgoris Court on Wednesday jointly charged with two Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) related offences, contrary to the FGM prohibition Act of 2011.

The accused persons; Sharon Cherotich Ngeno, 22, Nelly Chelangat Mutai, 23 and Judy Cherotich Langat, 24 were jointly charged with allowing the outlawed act of FGM to be performed on them while having full knowledge that it was illegal.

They also faced a second charge of failing to report the performance of the illegal act of FGM on themselves.

The offences were allegedly committed on May 31, 2021 at Ilkerin village in Murkan area of Transmara East Sub-County.

They denied the charges before Kilgoris Senior Principal Magistrate, Robert Oanda and were remanded at Kisii prisons until June 24 when their case will be mentioned. The prosecution had opposed their release on bond, saying the police were still pursuing other suspects who are still at large.

Police are said to have 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. They arrested the trio who were recuperating at the home where the circumciser and the home owner escaped on seeing the police approaching.

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 over 37 of the 42, now 44 tribal communities in Kenya still practice Female Genital Mutilation.

The ongoing pandemic where the girls stayed at home for long, last year created the perfect conditions for proponents of FGM and early marriage to carry out their perverted motives.

The vice is rampant in Narok among the Maasai and Kipsigis communities who consider it an important aspect of their culture. In this period of Coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of young girls have undergone the cut in the county and the country and married off.

By Mabel Keya Shikuku

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