At a time when calls are being made for women to be treated with dignity and respect, a Kenyan member of parliament has allegedly assaulted a female colleague for not giving money to his constituency.
Rashid Kassim, MP for Wajir East in north-eastern Kenya, reportedly slapped Fatuma Gedi, who sits on the budget committee, in the parliament building car park in the capital, Nairobi on Thursday.
A photo has been shared on social media of Gedi in tears with blood in her mouth after the alleged assault
Gedi has further narrated in a video making the rounds on social media that Kassim confronted her over why she had not allocated money to his constituency while she was walking out of parliament Thursday morning.
Her explanations allegedly did not go down well with the male MP and Gedi said he called her “stupid” and struck her several times in the mouth and jaw to her surprise. Another female MP, Sabina Chege, said she was a witness to the alleged incident.
“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.”
“He became agitated and started hurling insults at the MP and then he hit her, not once but twice slapped on the face,” Chege, who is the Muranga County Women’s Representative told CNN.
After the incident, female MPs walked out of parliament during the next session in protest, demanding the arrest of Kassim, who has since been detained.
Chege said their male colleagues made fun of them in parliament after the incident.
“Some of our male colleagues started mocking us and saying it was slapping day,” she told the BBC.
She added that they said “women needed to have manners” and “we need to know how to treat men”.
“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 was quoted by CNN.
Kassim is yet to comment on the incident, meanwhile, here’s a video of how the women MPs protested outside parliament: