‘’If this pandemic persists we will be expected to circumcise our initiates in the month of December to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease,” He said.

By Tony Wafula

Traditional circumcisers have called on the Bukusu community in both Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia counties whose boys are ready to participate in the August fete to postpone it.

This is is based on the current situation where the world is battling COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the press in Bungoma on April 17, Dr.Isaac Misiko who is the Minister for Health in the Inzu ya Masaba and also a traditional circumciser said that depending on the faster rate of the spread of the covid-19 virus the fete cannot take place.

‘’During circumcision relatives and friends come together to dine and wine together, it is during this fete is where elders engage in a drinking spree of a local traditional liquor known as Busaa but now that the government has given tough directives that no crowding I urge the celebration to be carried forward to 2022,” he said.

He called upon the county government of Bungoma to set up a scanning clinic to ensure that circumcisors are scanned and their health status noted.

His sentiments were echoed by Joseph Sinino alias Sinino wo Omukolongolo the chairperson of circumcisors in the county who said that the celebration will not take place if corona virus pandemic persists.

‘’If this pandemic persists we will be expected to circumcise our initiates in the month of December to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease,” He said.

Omukolongolo called on the county health department to establish scanning clinics in all the nine sub-counties that will ensure that every circumciser is scanned and given a health letter.

‘’The county ministry of health to establish scanning clinics in villages to give opportunity to initiates and circumcisors to be tested on their COVID-1919 health status,” he advised.

He said that in the year 1926 and 1938 there were no circumcision ceremonies because of the diseases that was hitting the nation which forced them to be circumcised during  the bad year ‘Sikumenya,” he said.

The chairperson added that the sikumenya is the year to carry out rituals to the dead and it’s not good to circumcise initiates saying that they follow cyclical system (Bibingilo).

He said that the circumcision ceremony follows the eight age-groups: Bakolongolo, Bakikwameti, Bakananachi, Bakinyikeu, Banyange, Bamaina,Bachuma and Basawa which last for 10 years apart from Bachuma which lasted for 14 years(from 1872-1886).

He urged Bungoma county Gender, Youth and Culture CEC Everlyne Kakai to organize a meeting with all circumcisors from Bungoma to have proper way forward.

He accused those circumcisors who run up and down in town circumcising street boys saying that when found they will be arrested and arraigned in court.

‘’During circumcision time we have ensured that our circumcisors follow the set rules and regulations whereby one knife is used per an initiate,” He observed, adding that if spotted sharing the knife you will be arraigned in court.

Their sentiments come two weeks after senate speaker Ken Lusaka has the Luhya community to postpone the circumcision fete to stop spreading corona virus.

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