More than 800 girls circumcised in Tanzania despite police crackdown

A traditional east African surgeon holds razor blades before carrying out female genital mutilation on teenage girls. (REUTERS/James Akena/file photo)
Updated 06 January 2017

More than 800 girls circumcised in Tanzania despite police crackdown

DAR ES SALAAM, More than 800 girls were subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) in northern Tanzania last month, a local government official said, despite a police crackdown to stop the practice that affects millions of girls in the east African country.
Twelve women suspected to have carried out the ritual, which involves the partial or total removal of the external genitalia, have been arrested as the police investigate the case, Tarime District Commissioner Glorious Luoga said.
“The police operation is still going on. We will not relent until all the perpetrators have been arrested and charged,” Luoga told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
FGM affects an estimated 140 million girls and women across a swathe of Africa and parts of the Middle East and Asia, and is seen as a gateway to marriage and a way of preserving purity.
Up to 7.9 million girls and women in Tanzania are thought to have undergone FGM, with the illegal procedure often carried out in secret initiation, or rite of passage, ceremonies.
The ancient ritual causes numerous health problems that can be fatal.
In Tarime, girls are usually cut between the ages of 12 and 17 in initiation ceremonies performed by circumcisers known as ngariba, often in unhygienic conditions.
On Tuesday a senior official in the Ministry of Health warned communities to stop embracing the harmful tradition.
“FGM should be made history in Tanzania,” the ministry’s permanent secretary Sihaba Nkinga told girls who had completed an alternative rite of passage in Tarime involving reproductive health education.
“As a government, we can’t afford to see such acts continuing to happen. It is not something to be proud of,” she said.


Report: Fugitive tech boss was Austrian spy agency informant

Updated 30 October 2020

Report: Fugitive tech boss was Austrian spy agency informant

  • Jan Marsalek faces allegations of fraud and other charges in connection with the company’s sudden bankruptcy earlier this year
  • German federal police issued a wanted poster for Marsalek in August

BERLIN: German media report that a fugitive former top executive of payment company Wirecard was an informant for the Austrian spy agency BVT.
Jan Marsalek, the former chief operating officer of Wirecard, faces allegations of fraud and other charges in connection with the company’s sudden bankruptcy earlier this year.
Munich-based Wirecard filed for protection from creditors in June after executives admitted that 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion) listed as being held in trust accounts in the Philippines probably did not exist.
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily reported Friday that German federal prosecutors have evidence Marsalek was a source for the BVT agency. The newspaper cited a German government response to Left party lawmaker Fabio De Masi.
German lawmaker Patrick Sensburg, who sits on the parliamentary intelligence oversight committee, told business daily Handelsblatt that Marsalek may have worked for several spy agencies simultaneously. He didn’t elaborate.
German federal police issued a wanted poster for Marsalek in August. Interpol issued a so-called red notice for him on allegations of “violations of the German duty on securities act and the securities trading act, criminal breach of trust (and) especially serious case of fraud.”
As chief operating officer, Marsalek was in charge of all operational business activities, including sales, and is suspected of having inflated the balance sheet total and sales volume of the company, police said.
Former Wirecard CEO Markus Braun has been arrested, along with the company’s former chief financial officer and former head of accounting.
Police allege that Braun and Marsalek incorporated “fictitious proceeds from payment transactions relating to deals with so-called third-party acquirers in order to present the company financially stronger and more attractive to investors and customers.”