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MP finds himself in trouble for supporting FGM

19 June 2014, 15:56 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Kitutu Chache North MP, Jimmy Angwenyi found himself in trouble before the National Assembly’s floor for supporting of the outlawed Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practice during a debating session.

Angwenyi said the government’s “move to criminalize our cultures” is undesirable yet it has done nothing to outlaw copied homosexual practices.

“Madam Speaker, we should not criminalise our cultures as Africans yet this House has not implemented any law to criminalise gayism borrowed from foreign countries. These gays are freely and openly demonstrating for their rights. FGM should not be criminalised because we in Kisii allow only for a small cut for our girls,” said the Kitutu Chache North MP during the debate session Presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Joyce Laboso who is also the Sotik MP.

His remarks sparked heat from other members of the Parliament who said Angwenyi was “living in stone age period” and that his support for the “primitive and barbaric FGM” practice was for selfish political gains.

“FGM has interfered with African culture for our women in terms of education, health and freedom of association due to stigma after undergoing the cut. The 2010 anti-FGM law has to be fully implemented by everyone to protect our girls, Madam Speaker,” said the Kajiado Senator, Mary Yiane.

“Now people are doing Degrees, Masters among other academic qualifications to present in the job market. Will our women take the FGM certificate, if any is issued, to the job market? The law should be applied fully to those propagating FGM,” she added.

Sabot MP, David Wafula said the government showed laxity in dealing with gender-based violence and reported cases have been lightly resolved in terms of fixing lower fines and short jail terms for culprits thus contributing to increased cases.

Laboso was forced to throw Angwenyi out of the House for breaking the National Assembly’s rules after engaging in disorderly arguments with his attackers.

National Assembly’s Majority Leader, Aden Duale supported the anti-FGM motion by challenging all elected leaders to be in the forefront of fighting the harmful practice that has claimed lives of many women and leaving victims of the cut with stigma.

“FGM is a serious crime as terrorism, poaching, poverty and HIV/AIDs. The government is committed in the fight against FGM since the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions has set up an Anti-FGM Prosecution Unit and deployed 20 officers to FGM-prone areas to deal with such cases, and our hospitals across the country including Kenyatta National Hospital have incorporated the Gender-based Violence Units,” said Duale.

“Be it a Muslim or a Christian, we should fight against FGM regardless of our religion. The enacted 2010 Anti-FGM Act should be brought back to Parliament for further amendment to increase both the jail term and fine,” he added.

Duale said more funds have been allocated for the campaign against FGM and noted that the government has established Area Advisory Councils to assist in the fight against the practice in the affected regions such as North Eastern, Kisii, Nyamira, Maasai-land, Kuria among other prone areas.

“When the DPP arrests the FGM culprits, I urge him not to leave one suspected crusader and honorable member in this house, Jimmy Angwenyi. Our girls should no longer be exposed to such practices that endanger their lives or leave them with unhealed scars,” said Duale.

The FGM debate comes barely a day when the Kalenjin elders and the Sarum Amabet Welfare Association under its Chairman, Kiplang’at Arap Koech in Nandi County are planning to move to court demanding the Anti-FGM Board to allow the community to practice its culture.

However, the Anti-FGM board Chairperson, Linah Jebii Kilimo said she will not concede to any pressure to support FGM and cited that the Anti-FGM 2010 law provides punitive penalties of seven years jail term and a KES 500 000 fine for the offence.

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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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