Kenya: Wajir East MP Rashid Amin should be suspended

Physical violence is unacceptable among Members of Parliament.

• Gedi and the Budget committee did not allocate funds to Wajir East.
• Physical violence is unacceptable among Members of Parliament.

Yesterday morning, on Budget Day, Wajir East MP Rashid Amin punched Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Gedi in the Parliament parking lot (see P8). Rashid was angry that the Budget committee, of which Gedi is a member, had allocated money to four Wajir constituencies but not to Wajir East. Gedi explained that neither he nor his constituents had met the committee when it was in Wajir. Rashid lost his temper and punched her twice.

Tempers often run high in political circles. Decisions are taken that impact the wellbeing of many people. Everyone wants the system to support their constituency. But Parliament has to run with decorum and respect. It was acceptable for Rashid to argue vociferously with Gedi. That is the nature of politics. It was completely unacceptable for him to hit her ( even leaving aside that she is a woman). It was common assault and in breach of the Leadership Code.

The Speaker should suspend Rashid from the National Assembly pending investigations by the police and should consider the possibility of a by-election in Wajir East to replace Rashid. Quote of the day: “Politics means striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within a state.”

Source: The Star Kenya