Kenya: Fatuma Gedi Risks Losing Woman Rep Seat Over Sex Tape Scandal

21 November 2019

Fatuma Gedi could lose her seat as a Wajir County Woman Representative if the National Assembly ratifies a decision by a parliamentary committee to discipline her for disgracing the House and its members.

The report by the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Committee chaired by Speaker Justin Muturi further says that her conduct is contrary to the best interests of the National Assembly.

CONDUCT

"The conduct of Fatuma Gedi constituted a breach of privilege and in consideration of the findings, the committee reprimands her," reads the report tabled on Wednesday by Limuru MP Peter Mwathi.

Section 16 (e) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act of 2017, among others, provides that the committee may find a member to be in breach of privilege if the member wilfully fails or refuses to obey any rule or resolution of Parliament and contravenes any provision of the Speaker's orders.

Alternatively, the House may pass a resolution to have the matter referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The report is to be debated and either approved in its current form or with amendments, or rejected.

ABUSED OFFICE

The evidence submitted to the committee discloses that Ms Gedi directly used information obtained through her office as an MP to further her private interests by having her colleagues, whom she accused of "manufacturing" a sex video that depicted her having intercourse, investigated by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Among the MPs Ms Gedi irregularly pushed to have investigated are Eldas MP Adan Keynan, Abdikarim Osman (Fafi), Purity Ngirici (Kirinyaga Woman Rep) and her Isiolo colleague Fatuma Jaldesa.

"The conduct of Ms Gedi of leaking the official letter by the DCI to the Office of Clerk reflected adversely on the dignity and integrity of the National Assembly and was contrary to the privileges Act," the report says.

Section 17 (3) of the Powers and Privileges Act provides that a member may be forced to vacate the seat they are holding where the relevant House of Parliament finds that a member has committed a breach of privilege.

POSSIBLE PENALTIES

The law further says that Parliament, may in addition to any other penalty to which the member may be liable, impose a suspension of the member for a period as the House may decide, fine the member from their monthly salaries and allowances as the legislators may determine.

However, the affected member may also escape with a formal warning, an order to apologise to the House or a person affected in a manner to be recommended by the committee.

The withholding for a specific period of time of the member's right to use parliamentary facilities and removal or suspension for a specified period of time from any parliamentary position they occupy including in committees, is also another form of punishment.

A member who has been suspended shall not, during the period of suspension, without the written permission of the Speaker, access the parliamentary precincts for whatever purpose or participate in any activity of parliament or its committees, the law states.

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