The Kenya Human Rights Commission is concerned about the attacks meted on a woman Member of the County Assembly (MCA) WITHIN precincts of the County Assembly in the course of executing their duties as Members of the County Assembly.

Photos and videos of police officers beating up Mlango Kubwa MCA Patriciah Mutheu, who was not armed leave the country with much anxiety and worries of the future of women leaders. Ms Mutheu was seen to be dragged on the floor by a male police officer while two others joined him and inappropriately handled the legislature.

We note that the takeover or handover of the executive powers of the Nairobi City County is un-procedural and what we are now seeing is extensive and horrific interference with the business of the Nairobi County Assembly by the national government through wanton violence and military rule on the people. The interference with the Nairobi County Assembly should worry all county assemblies because the same effect could spill to any other county.

We call for the immediate arrest of the police officers captured on video causing grievous harm to Patriciah Mutheu.  We take note of public reports that one of the police officers has been declared unfit to serve by several processes and institutions. Seeing him still in service and behaving callously and violently is a mockery of the rule of law and the police reforms voted for by the Kenyan people.

We further note that women’s lives matter just as the lives of all people. The level of public violence meted on Patricia and publicly displayed, erodes the numerous calls for an end to all forms of violence including gender-based violence. Coming at a time when the country is yet to fully implement gender inclusion in political processes as required through the not more than two-third gender rule, the attacks on Ms. Mutheu are a pointer to a bigger problem.

It is for this reason that the Kenya Human Rights Commission calls on the government to investigate the claims and oversee justice. We also call for unequivocal respect for the rule of law for all cadres of public leadership and non-interference with the oversight, representation and legislative role of the county assemblies and indeed of Parliament as witnessed in recent days.