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Two Tharaka women plead guilty to circumcising each other


Two women from Ntongoni village, Kanjoro location in Tharaka-Nithi County on Friday narrated before a Marimanti court how they circumcised each other using a razor blade.

The two, Winjoy Wanja, 27, a mother of three children, and Julia Ngugi, 25, a mother of two children, who are married to brothers, told the court that they decided to circumcise each other to protect their children from death due to a lineage curse.

They said a great grandmother left a curse before her demise dictating that all women married in the family must undergo Female Genital Mutilation or else their children would die.

They claimed that the spirit of the late grandmother had been haunting them every night by visiting them in a dream asking them to choose between undergo FGM or losing all their children.

“We decided to circumcise each other to avoid the death of our children,” said Ms Wanja.

GETTING MARRIED

They said when they were getting married, their husbands did not inform them that there was such a family curse until when they gave birth and the spirit of the dead allegedly started giving them sleepless nights.

Before Senior Resident Magistrate, Peter Maina, they narrated how they went to the market and bought a razor blade and without informing their husbands, they circumcised each other.

Ms Ngugi noted that after undergoing the ‘cut’, the spirit stopped visiting them.

Mr Maina ordered that the two remain in custody until November 14, when they will be brought back to court for judgment.

The women were arrested by the area chief, following a tip-off by the members of the public.

In November last year, Flora Muthoni, from Kamwimbi village in Igambang’ombe was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment by a Chuka court after she was found guilty of forcing her 12-year twin daughters to undergo the cut.

The woman told the court that she made sure all her daughters undergo the ‘cut’ so as to avoid a family curse that would lead to the death of the children.

On Friday during a public baraza at Kanthanje village in Igambang’ombe Sub County, Tharaka-Nithi County Commissioner Beverly Opwora warned residents against forcing their girls to undergo FGM during the long holiday.

She also warned that administrators risk losing their jobs if they do not report cases of FGM.

“The target of President Uhuru Kenyatta is to make sure the country is free from FGM by 2022 and we must play our parts as administrators,” said Ms Opwora.