NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has ordered the Attorney General Githu Muigai and Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Ongeri to strip the diplomatic immunity of an official at Shelter Afrique, who is alleged to have assaulted a female staff member.
Odinga said the official must be stripped of his immunity so he can face the law over the alleged assault of a Kenyan lady working in the organisation, or be made to leave the country.
“It is unacceptable when we read in the media that a foreigner has assaulted a Kenyan woman and that he cannot face the law because he enjoys diplomatic immunity; if the immunity cannot be stripped by Shelter Afrique then he should be declared persona non grata and leave,” he said.
The PM was reacting to reports of an attack, which is said to have occurred on Thursday at the institution’s headquarters in Upper Hill Nairobi.
Shelter Afrique was established in 1982 by African governments, the African Development Bank, Africa-Reinsurance and CDC, with the mandate of mobilising resources for housing development in Africa.
Odinga, who spoke at the Orange Women’s Democrats League meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on Saturday, insisted that women seeking for elective positions must be protected from violence.
“Women must be protected to compete freely in the political arena; all those who still bulldoze their way through violence on women should be locked up in jail,” he stressed.
He promised that ODM was committed to changing the past difficulties that women had faced including the right to education, the right to inherit property and traditional practices of early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).
“We in Kenya have resolved that we shall respect our women, that is why we have inserted in our Constitution that our women will become part and parcel of our society, and we have said that at least 30 percent of all positions will be reserved for women,” he noted.
“Women are the face of poverty in Kenya while they work so hard, we must change the situation for instance to allow them to have inherit their property in marriage, we know of the dangers of FGM and we have to be responsive.”
He added that ODM was committed to empowering women to ensure that small and medium enterprises will get affordable loans to create more jobs.
The PM said ODM’s agenda was to develop Kenya and improve on the livelihood of Kenyans. He declared that the sole agenda of his opponents’ was how to block him from ascending to power.
“We have for long continued to hold harambees to send patients to India and South Africa for specialized medical attention. In five years under my government this practice will stop because we will have invested in health sector,” he vowed.
ODM chairman Henry Kosgey said the party had an ideal agenda and was sure of winning the election.
Kosgey said ODM was ready to form the next government and urged its members to go out and sell its policies to the masses.
He said Odinga was the only candidate in the Presidential race with credentials that can make him clinch the top seat.
“When I look around, I only see Raila as the most suitable person to succeed President Kibaki,” said Kosgey.
Odinga’s wife Ida cautioned women against fighting amongst themselves saying that was the main cause of their low numbers in top positions. She urged them to unite, work as a team and help build Kenya.
Mama Ida lauded ODM for establishing the Orange Women Democrats League, which she said was the best avenue for women in the party to chart their way forward.