Kenya

Gay rights victory in Botswana

The High Court has decriminalised gay sex
The High Court has decriminalised gay sex. But not all countries in Africa are following this course, as Ferdinand Omondi tells Celia Hatton.
(Picture: Gay activists celebrate outside the Botswana High Court.
Credit: AFP/Getty)

Kenyan MP charged after 'slapping colleague'

A Kenyan MP has been charged with assault after allegedly slapping a female colleague because she did not allocate money to his constituency.

Rashid Kassim is accused of slapping Fatuma Gedi - who sits on the budget committee - in the car park of the parliament building in the capital, Nairobi.

He denied the charge in court on Friday and has been released on bail, according to the Daily Nation news site.

A photo of Ms Gedi crying with blood in her mouth after the alleged assault on Thursday has been shared widely on Twitter:

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Female MPs subsequently walked out of parliament in protest:

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AFP news agency quoted Speaker Justin Muturi as saying: "I have received the complaint from [Ms Gedi], and I want to say that that is not acceptable. The matter has been referred to the police. Parliament has no room for criminals."

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'Good Samaritan' houses LGBTQ+ refugees in Kenya

Cyuzuzo Samba

BBC Great Lakes, Nairobi

A group of LGBTQ+ refugees who have been targeted in Kenya say a "good Samaritan" has come to their aid by giving them accommodation in the capital, Nairobi.

They say there are 76 refugees in the group coming from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

They told BBC Great Lakes that they left Kakuma refugee camp in north-western Kenya after a series of homophobic attacks against them by fellow camp residents.

In April, the group rented rooms in Nairobi's Kangemi suburb, where they later faced the same hostility once local residents heard about their sexual orientation.

The landlord then told them to go.

The Refugee Coalition of East Africa, which works with LGBTQ+ refugees, stepped in to help.

It says the group is composed of 14 lesbians, 20 transgender women, one intersex person and the others are gay and bisexual men. There are also 10 children.

View of a room where the refugees are staying
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The refugees are living in cramped conditions

Frank (not his real name) told the BBC that the coalition took them to a new house in the south of Nairobi. But the conditions there are not good.

“We have no water here, no food for the past few days and we are in three rooms. It’s too bad,” Burundian refugee Claude (not his real name) told the BBC.

They have not received any help from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, he added.

In a statement sent to the BBC, UNHCR spokesperson Dana Hughes said the agency was concerned about the situation of the group and is working with "community-based organisations" to deal with it.

“We are aware that many LGBTI refugees living in Kenya continue to face challenges, we advise refugees to remain in safe neighbourhoods, and in small groups for their own protection,” she said.

Kenya budget 'hits the poor'

Digesting the details of Thursday's budget in Kenya, the newspapers are highlighting the measures that could hit the less well off.

Newspaper headlines
BBC

The Daily Nation calls it a "rich man's budget" and the Standard says it "does not spare low income earners".

One measure highlighted is Finance Minister Henry Rotich's proposal that passenger-motorcycle riders, known as bodabodas, will have to get insurance.

The Standard estimates that this will cost $35 (£27), a high cost for low earners.

The price of cigarettes and alcohol has also increased. And there is a new tax on betting.

The Daily Nation says Mr Rotich "protected banks and owners of capital, and shielded exporters, government suppliers, among other interest groups".

The finance minister was under pressure to boost the number of people paying tax as Kenya's national debt is growing.

Kenyan male MPs 'mocked women' after slap

Male MPs in Kenya have been accused of mocking their female counterparts in parliament after Rashid Kassim allegedly slapped his female colleague Fatuma Gedi.

He was reportedly angry that Ms Gedi, a member of the budget committee, had not allocated money to his constituency.

"Some of our male colleagues started mocking us and saying it was slapping day," MP Sabina Wanjiru Chege told BBC Focus on Africa.

She added that they said "women needed to have manners" and "we need to know how to treat men".

Female MPs subsequently walked out of parliament, demanding the arrest of the male MP, who was subsequently arrested.

This is a video of the commotion in parliament:

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Mr Kassim has not commented about the incident.

"We are all members of parliament… we are no lesser than them," said Ms Wanjiru Chege, referring to her male counterparts.

Kenyan MP arrested 'for slapping colleague'

Kenyan MP Rashid Kassim has been arrested over an alleged assault of colleague Fatuma Gedi, who sits on the budget committee.

Ms Gedi accused Mr Kassim of slapping her in the car park of the parliament building in the capital, Nairobi, after confronting her about why she had not allocated money to his constituency, Wajir East, in the budget.

Tweeters have been sharing a photo of Ms Gedi showing her with blood in her mouth after the alleged assault:

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Female MPs subsequently walked out of parliament in protest:

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Mr Kassim has not commented on the accusation.

Kenya deports Chinese traders

Kenya's interior ministry has ordered the deportation of seven Chinese nationals who are described as having "flagrantly flouted immigration rules".

This comes after a public tip-off that they were working at a large second-hand clothes market in the capital, Nairobi, without the right paperwork, a statement says.

Officers found that three of the Chinese people had no valid work permits and the other four were doing work unauthorised by their work permits.

"Kenya welcomes and values foreigners who invest, work and visit our country and will continue to support those who... adhere to our immigration and labour laws," the statement says.

Man pulling a barrow full of clothes
Getty Images
Gikomba market is a huge second-hand clothes market in Nairobi