Herbalists want Bukusu Circumcision pushed to 2022 to curb Covid-19
By Tony Wafula
Herbalists have called upon the Bukusu community from both Bungoma and Trans-Nzioa counties to push the circumcision ceremony slated for August this year to 2022.
The move is to avert the spread of the coronavirus disease that has so far claimed the lives of 11 people and 235 others testing positive going by the latest updates by President Uhuru Kenyatta on thusday.
Addressing the press in his Bungoma town in his office Isaac Misiko who is the Minister for Health in the Inzu ya Masaba 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 sing and drink ‘Busaa’, But now that the government has given tough rules that no crowding I urge the celebration to be carried forward to 2022,” said Dr Misiko.
Misiko called upon the county government of Bungoma to set up a scanning clinic to ensure that circumcisers are scanned and their health status noted.
His sentiments were echoed by Joseph Simino, alias,Simino wa Omukolongolo the chairperson of circumcisers in Bungoma 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.
He called on the county health CEC to establish scanning clinics in all the nine sub-counties to makes sure 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 circumcisers to be tested on their covid-19 health status.’’ He lamented.
He said that in the year 1926 and 1938 there were no circumcision ceremony because of the diseases that was hitting the nation which forced them to be circumcised during the bad year ‘sikumenya’.’’ He said.
He added that the sukumenya year 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, Bakinyikiwi, 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 circumcisers from Bungoma to have proper way forward.
He accused those circumcisers 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 circumcisers follow the set rules and regulations whereby one initiate one knife.’’ He said, adding that if spotted sharing the knife you will be sued and judged heavily.