October 2, 2022

Former Woman Rep Exposes Team Mafisi MPs in Parliament

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Former Nyeri Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi has for the first time come out in the open to speak about the harassment of female legislators in the August house.

Nyokabi who recently resigned from the National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) where she served as one of the commissioners in order to vie for the Nyeri Senatorial seat, has disclosed that gender-based harassment was rife and alive by the time she was joining Parliament.

The Constitutional and Human Rights lawyer who has served in various legal assignments including at the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), Kituo Cha Sheria said she alongside other female colleagues had to propose for enactment of policies to protect women legislators from unwarranted sexual harassment from within the sanctums of Parliament.

“When I got into Parliament in 2013, I was still young and a greenhorn in politics and therefore thought gender discrimination was alien within the precincts of the hallowed house. I was therefore taken aback when I found myself on the receiving end of indecent sexual overtures from some members of the house. Not even my strong links with FIDA and my non-nonsensical approach to protection of women rights deterred these mafisi (sex predators),” she said during a recent Inooro TV Itugi talk show.

Nyokabi however paid glowing tribute to the efforts of the late Mathira MP Professor Wangari Maathai, Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u and the wife of Ugandan veteran opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye, Winnie Byanyima, for spearheading efforts aimed at safeguarding the rights and dignity of women in the political offices.

The lawmaker noted that it was through such policies that women legislators did manage to push for the enactment of policies that eventually checked the excesses of male MPs towards their female counterparts.

“We did manage to formulate policies and procedures to guide every MP on how to conduct himself or herself as far as matters of sexual harassment was concerned through the help of the Speaker. At that time, the principles of Winnie Byanyima Besigye, Professor Wangari Maathai and Justice Njoki Ndung’u in clamour for women rights and their fight against any forms of sexual harassment came handy in our fights in bringing the trend to an end,” she told program show host Winrose Wangui.

The aspirant also refuted claims that she was yet to resign from her position as a commissioner at NGEC and insisted that she no longer serves in the commission having handed her resignation letter to the relevant appointing authority.

Nyokabi termed the allegations as efforts aimed at tarnishing her reputation but insisted this would not deter her determination in bouncing back into active politics.

“Those going around peddling rumours to the effect that I never resigned from my former engagement are only doing so out of ill-will. In this country there is a procedure to follow when joining any State organization and equally on how one exits from service. I did this by handing over my letter of resignation to the head of public service and President Uhuru Kenyatta respectively as required by law. Therefore, as far as I know I no longer work for the National Gender and Equality Commission,” she stated.

And unlike in her past interviews, the Jubilee Senatorial aspirant came out openly and announced she will now be rallying behind the Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga in his fifth stab at the highest office in the land.

Before entering Parliament, Nyokabi was the Executive Director of Kituo Cha Sheria.

 She has also served as the Deputy Presiding Officer Eastern Africa in the African Union Permanent Assembly of the Civil Society (AUECOSOC) and as a Media Council of Kenya Complaints Commissioner.

 She will now have to battle it out with Wahome Wamatinga (UDA), Boniface Njagi (TSP) and Kabando wa Kabando (PNU) for the Nyeri Senatorial seat.

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