, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – Female MPs on Monday gave Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo a three-day ultimatum to apprehend men who were captured on camera stripping women naked in Nairobi and Mombasa or they push for his removal from office.
Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) chairperson Cecily Mbarire led her colleagues in vowing to review current laws on gender-based violence to protect women against such vices.
They blamed law enforcement agencies for sleeping on the job following what they termed continued assaults on women, undermining their freedoms and dignity.
“Clearly the laws are not stiff enough or the implementation is not being done. We shall start serious monitoring of how these cases of violence against women are being implemented so that officers who are seen to ignore this violations are also brought to book,” she told a news conference at Parliament Buildings.
Wajir County Woman Representative Fatuma Ibrahim, Kasarani MP Njoroge Chege and Nominated Senator Martha Wangari raised concern over the increasing gender-based violence, adding that the act is a national shame.
Ibrahim noted the cases are worrying adding that they were reminiscent of what used to happen in Somalia where the Al Shabaab would have women it declared to be indecently dressed beaten in public.
“This is a very worrying trend because people are deciding for you, that you are improperly dressed and then attack you. We are seeing mob justice being like terrorism in Kenya and if it is not addressed it will become a crisis,” stated the Wajir County Woman Representative.
Chege added: “This is criminality, and we are asking the Inspector General of Police to look for these guys in the next one or two days because these are people who are known because they operate matatus. So they are not people you can look for, for a whole week.”
Nairobi County Woman Representative Rachel Shebesh plans to move a Motion to suspend business during Tuesday’s sitting to allow members discuss the rising cases of women being stripped by mobs.
A woman was stripped for allegedly dressing indecently in downtown Nairobi, with a second facing similar fate in Mombasa while a third was stripped inside a bus in Nairobi.
Shebesh urged the victims to contact her so that she can facilitate their rehabilitation on how to cope with the assault.
“These poor ladies are definitely going through some traumatic issues right now, and I am asking that they come forward so that I help them – together with KEWOPA – to be able to heal. If you look at the video, it was not about stripping these girls it was about humiliating them,” she regretted.
At the same time, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi who is on official duty abroad also condemned the act which he said violated the women’s fundamental freedoms and rights as contained in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
He called upon Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and other bodies to ensure those behind the ‘heinous and barbaric acts ‘ are brought to book.
“I find it debauch that one or two individuals, or rather a small group of individuals can be allowed to mete despicable acts of clear constitutional violations against ladies in broad day light, and I call on all institutions charged with responsibility of protecting human rights to do what they should to protect the violated and traumatized ladies,” he said in statement.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has already ordered a probe into the incidents, while Kimaiyo appealed to the women to come forward and record statements with the police.