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Kenyan Member of Parliament, Rashid
Kassim, has been arrested after being accused of causing “actual bodily
harm” to his female colleague, the Kenyan Police Directorate of Criminal
Investigations (DCI) said.
In a video circulating on social
media, MP Fatuma Gedi said she was walking out of the Parliament in Nairobi
Thursday morning, when she met Kassim, who she says confronted her over why she
did not allocate money to his constituency.
A short clip circulating on social
media showing Kenyan MP Fatuma Gedi speaking after allegedly being assaulted by
fellow MP Rashid Kassim.
In the clip, she claims that he
called her stupid and struck her twice. CNN has reached out to MP Kassim but
have not gotten a response back.
Gedi said after explaining her
position, she was told she was “stupid” and was struck several times
in the mouth and jaw. “And then he hit me, he punched me here,” Gedi
said, gesturing towards her mouth. “And then again, and I was
MP Sabina Chege is the Muranga
County Women’s Representative and said she was a witness to the alleged
She told CNN on Friday, “Mr.
Rashid was complaining about funds allocation for his constituency by Hon.
Fatuma Gedi who sits on the budget committee, she told him the issue was before
the public participation committee of which Rashid never attended.”
She continued, “He became
agitated and started hurling insults at the MP and then he hit her, not once
but twice slapped on the face.”
Chege said she and other MPs stormed
out of Parliament during the next session in protest.
“This came as a shock to all of
us, it’s bad and demeaning, how can a Member of Parliament be attacked inside
the precincts of the house,” she said.
“It’s sad that male Members of
Parliament are threatened by our presence, they are thinking we are taking
their territories and they are not ready to accommodate powerful women leaders
coming up. Instead of being scared they should all do their job of service
delivery like we do, not hit women. No,” Chege added.
CNN has attempted to contact the
accused MP Rashid Kassim for a statement but is yet to receive a response.
The Kenyan Police Directorate of
Criminal Investigations (DCI) said “further investigations are
In 2018, male MPs in Kenya made
headlines after they said Chege violated the parliamentary dress code by
wearing a short-sleeved blouse.
Women hold less than a third of
elected seats in the country’s parliament even though the Kenyan 2010
constitution says not more than two-thirds of elective public office holders
should be of the same gender.
Efforts by female lawmakers, pushing
for the enactment of the bill that could help Kenya achieve gender parity in
its government have so far been unsuccessful
There have been concerns in recent
weeks about the rise in gender-based violence after a spate of high profile
killings involving women.
In March, hundreds of women and
activists took to the streets of Nairobi and Mombasa to protest against
gender-based violence. They called on the government to do more to give women
justice and to do more to stop the rising violence.
“There is a war against our
bodies, there is a war against Kenyan women and together we are raising our
voices to say no to this femicide and violence against women,” said