THE NATION, Nairobi, Kenya, 23 August 2002.

Man Forcibly Circumcised As Crowd Watches

A man was yesterday forcibly circumcised by traditional surgeons in Mumias-Butere District as police watched helplessly.

Mr John Otieko, an employee of Mumias Sugar Company, was cornered by a mob as he walked along the Mumias-Bungoma highway in the Western Province.

He was stripped naked, frog-marched to a nearby river and covered with clay in a ritual known as okhulonga among the local Luhya communities.

He was then brought to Mayoni trading centre in Matungu constituency to be circumcised as an excited crowd watched.

Efforts by four traffic police officers who were manning a roadblock on the highway a few metres away from the scene failed when the crowd started stoning them. The victim was then left bleeding at the scene.

He was rushed to the Mumias Sugar Company's dispensary, where he was treated and discharged.

Mr Otieko's wife Hawa Wesonga told the police to track down the culprits.

She said her husband is from Siaya District and has two wives and five children.

District Commissioner Ernest Munyi expressed shock at the incident and told police to crack down on traditional surgeons involved in forcible circumcision.

(File prepared 25 August 2002)