Saturday, 7 February 2015

Female Genital Mutilation and the recent arrest of a Woman at Heathrow

The arrest of a Zimbabwean Woman at Heathrow (Woman Arrested for conspiracy to commit FGM, The Guardian, 6 February 2015)
Being an anti –FGM activist, born and raised in Zimbabwe, I thought I had to comment about the arrest at Heathrow.
I recently wrote about FGM in Zimbabwe on my blog,, it is clear from research and published work that
 Zimbabwe is not considered a serious culprit.
There are 4 types of Female genital Mutilation,
·         Type I      The clitoris or the hood of it is cut away.
·         Type II     The clitoris and inner labia are removed (FGM types I and II constitute 80% of female genital mutilation performed world-wide).
·         Type III    The clitoris, inner labia, and outer labia are cut away and the remaining skin is sewn or sealed together to cover the urinary opening and entrance to the vagina.
 This is the most extreme form of FGM, involving removal of almost two thirds of the female genitalia. Type III constitutes 15% of mutilations performed world-wide.

·         Type IV   All other harmful procedures, for example: pricking, piercing, incising, scraping, and cauterization
All available information suggests that type 4 is practised in Zimbabwe, but not by all tribes. All forms of FGM should end but we have to arrest the responsible people, as we should with any other crime.
We all want prosecutions on this heinous crime but all the evidence should point to the accused. Just being black and having an 8 year girl does not make a person guilty.

The CPS needs proper guidelines which will enable those involved to gather evidence without prejudice.
 Following the rightful acquittal of Dr Dhamarsen, lessons on how to go about prosecuting people should be learnt.
There has to be a better understanding of FGM by everybody, and the reasons why it continues to be practised, which are not the same In Zimbabwe for example, as they are in Sierra Leone, Nigeria or Kenya.
The UK has never had a successful prosecution unlike France and we should be asking ourselves why this is and learn from them. The French legal system might be the key to this as the inquisitorial system of justice seems less inclined to act, simply in order to be seen to be doing something.
More information can be found on my blog, my book- A lost youth by Abigal Muchecheti which can be found on Amazon and

Friday, 6 February 2015

Female Genital Mutilation and Prosecutions

Most people now realise that FGM is horrific and should be stopped. Recently different government agencies, activists , communities etc, have all been fighting to see an end to this evil practice.

Those of us working hard to raise awareness of the dangers of FGM to girls and women would want nothing more than some form of prosecution of the perpetrators of this vile practice.

Unfortunately, this is long overdue. I think more needs to be done. At the moment it seems to be all about having a person behind bars without actually having enough evidence. It doesn't work. As with all crimes , more resources are needed to try and capture the culprits red handed if possible.

As speaking out is seen as a betrayal by families and communities, there should be guidelines on how witnesses will be protected. People are still unaware of the help and protection that is available. It has to be remembered that in the UK , FGM practising communities stick together and would do whatever it takes to protect their interests.
Good evidence is what's needed for successful prosecutions and will only be achieved by working with communities.