Woman gets seven years in jail for conducting Female Genital Mutilation

By Maureen Odiwuor

Migori, Kenya: A Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) expert is to spend seven years in jail after the court found her guilty of performing the illegal exercise in December 2012.

Pauline Nyariba, who was the only active circumciser in Migori County’s Kegonga sub-location at the time, was found guilty of performing the act on one minor.

However, Kehancha Senior Resident Magistrate Charles Mwaniki Kamau acquitted her of carrying out the exercise on another girl after the court found that she was forced to perform the act by armed youths.

“The decision to commit the crime was forced upon her. She therefore cannot be held criminally liable for the act,” the magistrate ruled.

Nyariba was charged that on December 14 and 15, 2012, at Kegonga, she performed FGM on two minors.

Taken by force

Six witnesses and the two minors testified in support of the prosecution’s case.

The first minor told the court that she left her parent’s home on December 11, 2012 and went to a girls’ circumcision ceremony. However, her father who was against the illegal act, arrived at the venue and pulled her out of the queue but was stopped by armed youths and elders.

The youth and elders forcefully took her to the circumciser and ordered that Nyariba performs the exercise on the girl.