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Two held in Igembe for forcibly circumcising woman

Sunday September 8 2019

FGM Igembe

Police in Igembe North of Meru County are holding two people suspected to have forcefully circumcised a woman. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DAVID MUCHUI
By DAVID MUCHUI
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Police in Igembe North of Meru County are holding two people suspected to have forcefully circumcised a woman.

Igembe North County Police Commander Apollo Busolo said a man and his wife are being held as investigations continue into the Wednesday incident.

The victim, who is admitted at Mutuati Sub County Hospital, is said to have been attacked by a group of people who forcibly circumcised her following a protracted family dispute.

ARRESTED

Mr Busolo said the suspects were arrested on Thursday. Those in police custody are Zipporah Kathao and Joseph Ntarangwi, while other suspects are at large.

Speaking from the hospital, the victim said she was blindfolded by her attackers, muzzled and her legs tied before she was cut.

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She said they had beaten her up last week and threatened to subject her to a more severe punishment.

“They had started threatening me saying they would discipline me by circumcision. When they released me, I realised my private party were bleeding. It is then my husband came and rushed me to hospital,” she recounted.

However, Maendeleo ya Wanawake Meru County treasurer Jennifer Kathure accused administrators and the police of trying to divert justice.

JUSTICE
"The woman was attacked by people related to her husband over a dispute. Even after the victim and her husband told the chiefs what happened, they wanted to shield the suspects. We had to protest to ensure the suspects are arrested," Ms Kathure said.

She claimed a police officer who was tasked with recording a statement from the victim made her to sign blank papers.

“When the police officer came to the hospital, she did not record the victim’s statement. The officer said she would write what the complainant had said later and asked her to sign on a blank notebook.

We are afraid that there is a ploy to alter the victim’s statement. This matter should be looked into by IPOA,” the activist said.

Anti FGM activist Catherine Thiakunu condemned the incident and called for prosecution of the perpetrators.

“Igembe North has become notorious for the criminal act. We are yet to see the arrest of suspects in the case where a 14-year-old girl died this year after undergoing FGM. We want to see action taken against those promoting FGM,” Ms Thiakunu said.

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