Eight women arrested over FGM practice

EIGHT women have been arrested here over charges of mutilating hundreds of girls in the district. Tarime District Commissioner (DC) Glorious Luoga confirmed the latest arrest of the female mutilators, ng’ariba, yesterday.

“Already, eight female circumcisers have been arrested and all people behind the mutilation of girls this year will be arrested and taken to court,” vowed the DC, hinting that the suspects were arrested from various parts of the district, including Nyamwaga and Sirari.

Mr Luoga was speaking during the second graduation ceremony of the Tanzania Safe Circumcision (TaSaCi) that involved 237 boys from different parts of Tarime who had undergone the safe circumcision.

TaSaCi Director, Fr Ernest Kamugisha, who is also the Parish’s Priest of Sirari Roman Catholic Church where the graduation took place, said TaSaCi aim was to eliminate traditional circumcision practices that subject boys to unnecessary severe pains and excessive bleeding.

“We thank all parents and stakeholders who supported TaSaCi to conduct safe circumcision for these 237 boys,” Fr Kamugisha said. The boys camped at TaSaCi for several days after undergoing the operation.

Mr Luoga lauded TaSaCi for introducing the programme in the society whose culture still values the traditional knife circumcision and FGM. But, he strongly warned that anyone trying to double cut the boys who benefited from the programme will be dealt with accordingly, ordering the police force to have no mercy on the culprits.

“We need to protect girls and boys against these brutal acts,” Mr Luoga insisted. There are reports that several female circumcisers had also been arrested and taken to court in the neighbouring Serengeti District. Mr Luoga said it was time for the communities in Mara Region to snub outdated cultures like FGM and instead direct their efforts to development issues like education.

FGM is illegal, according to the laws of the country and Mara is rated as one of the top five regions that practise FGM in the country.

On Monday, two women, Mbusiro Kitari and Wegesa John were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment each in Serengeti District for subjecting a minor to FGM. They were also fined 300,000/- each and ordered to pay the victim 2m/- each as compensation after completing their sentences.

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