Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Police probe new FGM claims

Tarime Zonal Police Commander (RPC), Mr Justus Kamugisha
Police in Tarime and Rorya special zone are working to verify claims of existence of a syndicate dealing in human body parts and specifically those of women in a new wave of superstitious related crime.

Reports from the area say that the allegations have driven girls of the area to voluntarily seek Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) hoping to escape the more brutal kidnap, mutilation and murder.

It is alleged that women’s sexual parts are being traded in an alarming black market racket that has implicated gold mines in the area and put at risk the lives of many women and girls in the region.

The Regional Police Commander for Tarime and Rorya Regional police zone Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Justus Kamugisha denied any knowledge of the practice or even any such threat, saying no such reports or even remotely related cases have come across his desk.

“I have not heard about such incidents, however, we will take a look…,” he said.
Our source, a human rights activist, reported that the scheme was unveiled during the ongoing research into the persistence of FGM in the region.

The areas covered include Kiagata, Musoma Rural, Rorya and Tarime districts where it is understood that FGM was long practiced as a rite of passage into maturity, but now suppositious attributes have been linked to the practice in selfish bids to make quick money.

TGEI, organised under the Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWEZ-Tanzania Chapter) secretariat convened to discuss among other issues, rights to education for girls and women in the ongoing constitutional review.

Parts are sold for 40,000/- to 50,000/- and groups are reportedly paid to kidnap uncircumcised girls for the magic rituals, for both business and mining prospectus, claimed our source, making it clear that the chain of command in the trade is long.

“I don’t know whether the government is aware of this barbaric practice…it is a long chain, first there are business tycoons owning mines, middlemen, the kidnappers and killers…those who do the actual mutilation…the list goes on,” he said.

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