Ten chiefs and their assistants were interdicted in Migori County by County Commissioner Mr. Boaz Cherutich for their laxity in stopping FGM cases in their locations while six police officers were marked for promotion for their steadfast dedication in rescuing girls from the fight.
While sending the Chiefs home, the County Commissioner noted that the chiefs had no choice but to work for the government lest they be relieved of their duties.
“You either work with us or we will recruit other Kenyans ready to serve the people. We are charged with the responsibility of promoting and upholding the law,” said Mr. Cherutich.
The Chiefs were interdicted in a meeting presided over by Public Service and Gender CAS Hon. Rachel Shebesh alongside Gender PS Prof Collette Suda. Also present were Board Chairperson Ms. Agnes Pareyio, CEO Mrs. Bernadette Loloju, and Migori County Women Representative Dr. Pamela Odhiambo.
This is after holding a crisis meeting with the county administrators and other stakeholders following a spike of FGM cases in the Kuria region, some under the full glare of the public.
The CAS Hon Rachel Shebesh lauded the action and warned that more chiefs would be on the chopping board if they absconded their duty of fighting FGM as per the Government’s expectations.
She read the riot act to the chiefs and the security agents for allowing mass cutting of girls in the Kuria region, with most of the act and the victims, paraded in public. “How can it be that girls are cut and paraded in public and yet no one takes responsibility? This is unacceptable. There is no chief without knowledge of where the cutting is taking place and the households involved,” asserted the CAS.
The CAS in collaboration with the Board had made an unplanned visit to the County after a public outcry on the mass cutting of girls in the Kuria region. This is after news reports and calls to the Board offices from stakeholders and the public that girls were being paraded in the public after cutting in total disregard of the law.
Gender PS Prof. Suda said that the Kuria region had been in the news for all the wrong reasons for far too long because of the continued practice of FGM. “We should be coming here often to launch development projects and to celebrate achievements from the girl child. But, instead, we come here to urge you to stop cutting women. Other regions are moving forward because they are educating girls and stopped FGM. There must be a stop to this harmful once and for all,” said Prof. Suda.
The Chairperson Ms. Pareyio regretted that despite the numerous awareness campaigns in the region through mass media, roadshows and town hall meetings, and barazas, FGM is still rife in the region. She said the Board had invested a lot of resources towards awareness campaigns in the region but girls are still being cut and paraded on the road as people chant slogans.
Migori Women Representative Dr. Pamela Odhiambo pledged to construct more rescue centers where girls can escape whenever they are threatened with forced cutting. She said she hoped to see more women Professors in the region that can work hand in hand with men in nation-building and raising happy families.