By NJOKI KIHIU, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 13 – Wajir East lawmaker Rashid Kassim Amin has been arrested following an incident within Parliament Buildings where he assaulted Wajir Women Representative Fatuma Gedi Thursday afternoon.
Nairobi police boss Philip Ndolo confirmed the arrest when reached for a comment by Capital FM News.
“The MP has been arrested and he is recording a statement over an assault complaint filed by the Woman Representative,” Ndolo said adding, “he will be charged in court tomorrow with assault.”
House Speaker Justin Muturi who confirmed receiving a report on the assault had referred the matter to the police saying Parliament has no room for criminals.
“I have given strict instructions because Parliament cannot harbour criminals. The police must investigate, arrest, and if necessary charge before court anyone that would be found culpable of the assault. It is not a matter of privilege,” Muturi remarked.
Kassim is said to have slapped Gedi accusing her of failing to secure National Government Constituency Development Fund financing for his electorate despite being a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The Woman Representative reported the matter to Parliament Police Station under OB/20/13/6/2019 after seeking treatment at a Nairobi hospital.
Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga who witnessed the assault said it is a shame that women lawmakers can be physically attacked within Parliament.
“This morning as we were walking from Parliament to Protection House with Hon Fatuma Gedi, we ran into Wajir East MP Rashid Kassim and they started to have a conversation that was so calm but I could not understand what they were saying in their language. Then all over sudden I heard Hon Rashid hurling insults to Hon Gedi which were followed by blows,” Wanga narrated.
“I am shocked that women leaders can be attacked by none other than their male colleagues in this Parliament. If we leaders are not safe,then how about our women and girls in the counties?” Wanga posed.
The women leaders staged a mass walkout from National Assembly ahead of the budget presentation calling for de-whipping of National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale who they accused of making demeaning remarks against women lawmakers.
We are not safe and if the leadership of this House cannot protect us then I want to ask the Speaker to allow us to come with pepper spray, guns and knives so that when we are attacked we can defend ourselves,” Kirinyaga Women Representative Purity Ngirici said.
“Just yesterday (Wednesday) Duale called the women of this House flower girls and said we are an endangered species and that we will be extinct before the next parliament then today (Thursday), one of our own is attacked. He should be demoted!