Kenyan National Assembly came to a standstill on Wednesday morning when acting Speaker Chris Omulele, ordered the Sergeant-at-arms to remove Kwale Women Rep Zulekha Hassan her from the debating chambers, because she had brought with her a stranger in the House. However, was parliament in order to kick out MP Zulekha out of the chambers?
According to Section 252(1) of Parliament Standing orders on Public Access to the House states that, “No person other than a Member shall be admitted into any part of the Chamber appropriated to the exclusive use of Members of the House while the House or the Committee of the whole House is sitting”. So according to the standing orders, the MP brought in another person in the Chambers other than the sworn members or ex officios.
The act to kick the MP out of Parliament caused a storm in the public with various women lobby groups condemning Parliament for discriminating upon a sitting member by mere fact that she is a breastfeeding woman.
The National Gender Commission, in defence of Zulekha, condemned the incident terming it unfortunate and amounting to discrimination of a mother, child and the Kwale county electorate.
“It is unfortunate that six years after the Parliamentary Service Commission was mandated to establish a creche to accommodate nursing members of Parliament and their children, the same is yet to be implemented,” said chairperson Joyce Mutinda.