PSI, govt sued over unsanctioned circumcision

A Bulawayo couple has sued the Population Service International Zimbabwe (PSI) and Health minister David Parirenyatwa for allegedly circumcising their 10-year-old son without their consent.

BY SILAS NKALA

Shooter Ngwenya and Thando Mukwevho filed their summons at the Bulawayo High Court on August 9 citing PSI and Parirenyatwa as respondents.

“The plaintiffs’ claim against the defendants is for payment of the sum of $400 000 due by the 1st and 2nd defendants to the plaintiff being damages arising from the defendants’ wrongful and unlawful conduct which resulted in plaintiffs’ minor child, who does not have legal capacity being circumcised without the consent of the plaintiffs, the biological parents,” reads the summons.

“Interest at the prescribed rate of 5% per annum reckoned from the date of summons to date of full payment. Costs of the suit on attorney client scale.”

In their declaration of the claim, Mukwevho and Ngwenya submitted that on August 8, 2017, members of the staff from PSI Zimbabwe visited Mawaba Primary School on a circumcision exercise.

“They proceeded to circumcise the plaintiff’s minor child (name withheld), born on July 8, 2007, without the consent from the plaintiffs as his biological parents. The plaintiffs’ child being only 10-years-old was unable to consent to the circumcision at law unless with the consent of the biological parents. The father of the child in question is his natural legal guardian, hence for the circumcision to be lawful his consent was needed,” reads the declaration in part.

The two submitted that as a result of the procedure, their child suffered long days and sleepless nights of excruciating pain.

“The experience has impacted negatively on the child as it has traumatised him,” said the couple, adding that the ritual was a taboo within the family and had brought sharp divisions.

The couple also said the circumcision had caused a permanent disability on their son, making him an outcast in his culture.

The couple said as a result, the family suffered general damages for pain and suffering discomfort, psychological trauma, disfigurement, stress, loss of enjoyment of amenities of life in the total sum of $400 000 which they prayed for an order to be paid to them.


The minister and PSI are yet to respond to the summons.

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