Chiefs in Narok accused of abetting FGM, early marriages

Evans Achoki

Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki. He has accused chiefs of abetting FGM  

Photo credit: George Sayagie | Nation Media Group

Chiefs and their assistants in Narok County have been accused of abetting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriages.  

In 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed 22 counties practising FGM to end the practice by 2022.

While addressing local administrators from Narok North and East sub counties at Narok Teachers Training College, Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki said the vice is deeply rooted in culture hence is still rampant in many parts of the county despite the stringent laws imposed on perpetrators.

He said mothers are key perpetrators of the 'cut' that is now being done by professional medical officers.

 “Chiefs and assistant chiefs in Narok County who will fail to report cases of female genital mutilation in their areas of jurisdiction will be sacked,” he said.

Arrested

 “We have received reports that some chiefs do not report cases of FGM in their locations. I want to warn them that they risk interdiction for failing to follow the law and abetting a crime,” said Mr Achoki.

This is after the Anti-FGM board chairperson revealed that some chiefs have been accused of abetting the practice by failing to report cases of girls undergoing FGM in their areas of jurisdiction. Ms Agnes Pareyio who was present in the meeting said some chiefs even allowed their daughters to undergo the cut in secrecy saying that it is their cultural norm.

The administrator said FGM perpetrators have been sneaking the girls for the cut in Tanzania through the Olpusimoru, Olderkesi border towns to evade the law.

He warned that FGM is a criminal offence under the prohibition of 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.

Pain

He noted that anyone who conducts FGM or pays someone else to conduct the practice or provides premises for it to be carried out is guilty of an offence. Failure to report the act and possession of instruments used in FGM is also a crime, said.

On her part Ms Pareyio said FGM was torture on young girls and should not be allowed to continue. She said women who have undergone the cut endure a lot of pain during birth and sometimes suffer from fistula.  

Although FGM was outlawed in Kenya in 2001, it is still rampant among some Kenyan communities with the Somali community leading in propagating the practice by 94 per cent.

They are closely followed by the 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.

In Kenya, 37 of the 44 tribes still practice Female Genital Mutilation.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of young girls have undergone the cut in Narok County.  Most of the girls have also been married off after the cut. 

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