Meru court jails five women for undergoing 'the cut'

Friday September 06 2019

The women in court. They were sentenced to three years in jail or pay a fine of Sh200,000 each. PHOTO | DAVID MUCHUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Five women who underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) have been sentenced to three years in jail or pay a fine of Sh200,000 each after they pleaded guilty.

Appearing before Resident Magistrate Evelyne Wachira on Friday at Githongo Law Courts in Meru, Florence Kiende, Caroline Wanja, Charity Karimi, Winfred Kawira, and Charity Muthoni were charged with undergoing the cut on various dates in July and August this year.


The suspects from Kiagu in Imenti Central pleaded guilty and asked for forgiveness.

Ms Wachira sent all of them to jail or pay Sh200,000 fine, to deter future incidents.

"FGM is a backward rite of passage which must be frowned upon. Ignorance of the law is not a defence. I have noted that cases of FGM are on the rise hence the need for a deterrent sentence," the magistrate ruled.


The women from Kiagu in Imenti Central, Meru County were arrested on Wednesday in an incident that shocked locals.

Two of the women were rushed to hospital after they were found to have septic wounds.

Earlier, Makandune assistant chief Robert Murithi said the victims of FGM were arrested on Wednesday after a tipoff from the public.

Speaking to the Nation by phone, Mr Murithi said the circumciser identified as Ciomutema and who hails from Kibung'a in Tharaka-Nithi County is still at large.

In Meru and Tharaka-Nithi counties, cases of FGM are common in Igembe and Tharaka regions respectively, with most incidents reported during school holidays.