Judge set to refer FGM case to CJ Maraga

The High Court in Machakos now wants Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a Bench to hear a case seeking to have Female Genital Mutilation legalised. Justice David Kemei said yesterday he would write to the CJ because the case raises fundamental constitutional issues.

“This case raises fundamental constitutional issues for determination, and has subsequently generated immense public interest and so I will seek to refer it to the CJ to have a bench hear and determine the matter,” said the judge.

The petitioner, Dr Tatu Kamau, said outlawing FGM is against the culture of many African communities and should be reviewed. The Attorney General, Anti-FGM Board and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) are listed as first, second and third respondents, respectively in the case.

She also claims that enactment of FGM Act denies women freedom to practise their culture. Yesterday, nine organisations admitted as interested parties in the case were granted 21 days to file their respective responses to the petition.

They include FIDA, Kenya Women Parliamentary Association, National Gender and Equality Commission and Katiba Sasa. The case will be mentioned on April 19. The session saw anti-FGM crusaders stage a protest outside the courtroom.

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