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MACHAKOS

FGM legalization petition to be heard in 21 days time in Machakos

Demsi nzioka
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Narok based Anti FGM activist and founder of Tasaru Girls Safe House Agnes Pareiyo addressing the press outside Machakos Law Court on Thursday. [Photo/Dennis Mwikya]

Parties in a case where Machakos based doctor is seeking legalization of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) have 21 days to file their written submissions either by cluster or individually.

So far, 10 organizations have been listed as interested parties, nine being anti-FGM bodies, and the latest being a pro- FGM activist Mzee John Kiplangat Arap Koech who is throwing his weight behind the petitioner, Dr Tatu Kamau.

Mzee Koech who has been publicly supporting the female cut for the last 18 years claims that the people campaigning against FGM which he terms as a cultural practice, are cursed, like the petitioner, he is too unrepresented. 

The notable organizations that have been enjoined in the case include; Federation of Women Lawyers in Kenya (FIDA), Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association (KWPA), Equality Now, National Gender and Equality Commission, as well as Katiba Sasa.

During the last mention on February this year, Justice David Kimei indicated that he was to write to Chief Justice David Maranga to expand jury to hear the controversial case which has so far sparked a public outcry, with Kenyans across the board calling for the upholding of the prohibition of FGM Act, 2011.

End FGM campaigners are sending the message home on social media through the trending hashtag #DontTouchFGMLaw.

The KWPA's lawyer and former Meru Woman Representative Florence Kajuju pleaded with the court to dismiss the petition terming it as “misplaced and lacks merit”.

“The petitioner does not even know why she is in court in the first place, we are happy with the status quo," Kajuju said.

Former Machakos Woman Representative Susan Musyoka urged the petitioner to withdraw the case terming it as retrogressive.

“The Girl Child has moved on and is now thinking differently, I urge my colleague doctor to withdraw this case,” Musyoka said.

Narok based Anti FGM activist and founder of Tasaru Girls Safe House Agnes Pareiyo, led other activists in parading outside Machakos Law Court holding anti FGM placards written," FGM is an extreme violence against women, consent should not be used to legalize FGM". 

One of the would be victims of FGM, Takaya Nguruma a student of Finance  and banking at Moi University in Eldoret said she was rescued by  Tasaru Girls Rescue Center at the age of 11 years.

Nguruma called on the Government to reject any attempt to reintroduce the cut. 

Equality Now's legal counsel Sophia Rajab-Leteipan termed FGM as harmful practice with zero health benefits, just harm.

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