Chiefs put on notice over rising cases of FGM in Narok

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 9 Jan, 2023 16:12 | 3 mins read
Chiefs put on notice over rising cases of FGM in Narok
Image used for illustration purposes. PHOTO/Courtesy PHOTO/Courtesy

Chiefs and their assistants have again been put on the spot for hiding perpetrators of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in their areas of jurisdiction in Narok county.

Narok County Commissioner Isaac Madinde has issued threats to the administrators saying they are putting their jobs on the line if this continues.

The vice is again on the increase despite former President Uhuru Kenyatta's 2019 directive to stop the practice by 2022.

The fresh warning comes after a 30-year-old woman was arrested over the weekend for allegedly subjecting her two daughters aged 13 and 11 years to the outlawed act in Naroosura village in Narok South Sub-County.

Police sources indicate that the woman was arrested following a tip-off by members of the public that she had circumcised the minors at Ntiapiri village. The two girls are still nursing wounds following the heinous act.

A police report from the Naroosura police station indicates that the girls were taken to the Naroosura health centre for a medical examination and was confirmed that the girls had indeed undergone FGM.

The girls are being held at Ololung'a Police Station pending collection by the County children's officer for their safe custody today while the mother is awaiting to be charged in court for abetting FGM.

However, Masinde blamed the chiefs for accepting cheap gifts like livestock to hide the culprits of FGM saying any chief who will fail to report an incident of FGM in his area of jurisdiction will be interdicted immediately.

Just before the festive season last month, the CC addressed chiefs and their assistants at Narok Teachers’ Training College and called on the administrators to be vigilant during the Christmas and new year festivities as the schools are closed for long holidays.

“You all know that FGM is illegal in the world, yet you are collaborating with the villagers to hide the culprits. A time has come to sack any chiefs and their assistants who will not report FGM incidents in their areas,” he said.

Masinde warned that FGM is a criminal offence under the prohibition of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2011, Children’s Act and the Penal Code. He warned parents who allow their daughters to undergo the cut that they would be arrested and persecuted.

Narok County Children Officer Pilot Khaemba said his office has already taken up the task to safeguard the minors and they will be handed over to a safe home for them as they await going back to school.

He said the arrest followed a tip-off from the members of the public who informed the authority of the suspected incident of FGM in the homestead.

“The area Chief Moses Tuarari led police officers to the home of Konene Rinka where they found the two minors recuperating after undergoing FGM on November 30, 2022,” he said.

At the same time, Narok South Sub-county deputy county commissioner Felix Kisalu said parents are also under sharp focus against subjecting their girls to FGM during this long holiday.

"We are on high alert and should we get any other parent performing FGM on their children they will face the law. It’s a must for the chiefs to be on the lookout for these rogue parents and as our county commissioner has specified they will be sacked if found culpable," Kisalu warned.

The 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) estimates that 21 per cent of girls and women ages 15 to 49 years have undergone female genital mutilation commonly known as the cut. 

The practice is still rampant among Kenyan communities, with the Somali community leading in propagating the harmful practice by 94 per cent, closely followed by Samburu at 86 per cent, followed by the Abagusii and Maasai communities at third and fourth with a prevalence of 84 and 78 per cent respectively according to government data.