Police in Igembe Central have arrested a couple for ‘forcing’ their daughter-in-law undergo female genital mutilation.
The couple, which was arrested on Friday morning, is said to have ordered the circumcision of their daughter in law, a mother of four, as a punishment for ‘seeing the nakedness of her circumcised sister-in-law’ on Wednesday.
"In our culture, an uncircumcised woman is not supposed to see a naked circumcised woman," said a woman who declined to be named.
The victim, who was taken to hospital on Friday, confirmed that she had faced the cut.
"I was not forced, I allowed them to do it," she said.
Police are looking for the victim’s husband and the circumciser who are still at large.
Igembe Central Deputy County Commissioner Josiah Odongo confirmed the arrest and warned residents against FGM.
Mr Kithela Kubai, an anti-FGM crusader said the incident happened at Mwiyo village a few kilometers from Kangeta town.
“I learnt that the victim's two sisters-in-law had a fight and one of them undressed out of rage. The victim covered her sister-in-law’s nakedness after separating them before the father in-law later ordered that she be circumcised for seeing the nakedness a circumcised woman,” Mr Kubai told the Nation.
Thuuru Assistant Chief David Mithea said an attempt to arrest the suspects on Thursday failed.
“We learnt of the incident but when we went to the homestead, we only found a child. They might have escaped after the incident was reported,” Mr Mithea said.
Mr Kubai said he had received threats from the victim’s husband for reporting the incident to the police.
He said that FGM was still rampant in the area with another incident reported in Kithare village last week.
“FGM is still a problem in this area during the holidays. Last year, we rescued six girls from Thuuru and Kathelwa villages after they were circumcised,” he said.
Meru Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson Mary Kanana called on the police to intensify the operation to ensure all suspects are arrested.
She urged residents to be on the lookout to avert the vice.
“It is unfortunate that FGM is going on in this day and age. The police should ensure all perpetrators are brought to book,” she said.
Ms Kanana said FGM is rampant during August and December holidays.
“We are aware that parents hide their daughters when practicing female genital mutilation. We are now warning them that any person who attempts (this) will face the law,” said Ms Kanana.