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AMIN CHARGED

Wajir MP Amin to face charges for punching Gedi

She suffered injuries to her face and neck during attack in Parliament Buildings parking lot

In Summary

• Speaker Justin Muturi directed police to immediately investigate t and charge whoever is found culpable.

• “Treat it as a rumour, I will respond to the police,” Amin told the Star.

Wajir East MP Rashid Amin
Wajir East MP Rashid Amin
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Wajir East MP Rashid Amin is expected to be arraigned in court on Friday morning on charges of assaulting  Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi.

Amin was arrested on Thursday evening and locked up at Parliament police station following protests by female MPs and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Gedi suffered injuries to her cheek and neck in the morning attack in Parliament's parking lot. She was rushed to Karen Hospital.

“He called me stupid and nonsense and then he beat me," Gedi told the Star. "I was shocked, I could not believe it. He came again and hit me. ”

The Star established that Amin demanded to know why the budget committee, on which Gedi sits, did not allocate funds to his constituency during its tour of the county. She said he wasn't present.

Gedi said, "It was about 9.50am, I was with Gladys Wanga (Homa bay woman rep) when I met the honourable member.  We just said hello and he asked me how come we did not put anything for him in his constituency.

"I told him you were not there and you were the host MP and you did not mobilise your people to come and present their case,” she said.

“Treat it as a rumour, I will respond to the police,” he told the Star before his arrest.

Women lawmakers walked out of Parliament in protest, demanding the immediate arrest and prosecution of  Amin. They demonstrated within Parliament Buildings, singing anti-Rashid songs.

Yesterday, Speaker  Muturi directed police to investigate and charge the assailant.

"I have given strict instructions that criminals cannot be harboured in Parliament. This is not a matter for the Committee of Privileges. I have directed police to go to whatever extent.

“Even if you disagree with a fellow member, it should remain like that, a disagreement, it cannot be an excuse to engage in criminal activities,” Muturi said. 

Led by Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) chairperson Purity Ngirici (Kirinyaga) and Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, the lawmakers demanded assurance of their security in Parliament.

They said they have become easy targets for their male colleagues.

“Today is a very sad day for women of this country. That in the precincts of Parliament a woman leader can be assaulted by a colleague. How secure are our girls if we women leaders can be assaulted and called flower girls by none other than the Majority leader,” Wanga said.

“We are not safe in this Parliament. If Rashid shall not be arrested then we should be allowed to walk with pepper spray and carry knives in our bags to defend ourselves from these men,” Ngirici said.

Wanga, who was with Gedi, told the Star that she and Amin were conversing in Somali. A few minutes into the conversation, she saw Rashid hit Gedi in the face.

We are not safe in this Parliament. If Rashid shall not be arrested we should be allowed to walk with pepper spray and carry knives in our bags to defend ourselves from these men.
MP Purity Ngirici

“I saw her crying and bleeding. I didn’t know what could lead to that. I was surprised that a colleague could assault a female member,” Wanga said.

Legislators and security officers reportedly watched the brief assault.

Gedi received first aid at Karen Hospital and then recorded a statement at Parliament Police Station under OB 20/13/6/2019.

Cases of MPs scuffling in Parliament are not new. In October 2017, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and Starehe MP Charles Njagua ought over the legitimacy of Uhuru's Kenyatta's presidency following the opposition’s boycott of the elections. 

The two were reprimanded by the Committee of Powers and Privileges for conducting themselves in a manner that reflected adversely on the dignity and integrity of the house.

Other fistfights have been recorded as well.