Nairobi, Kenya (CNN)
Kenyan Member of Parliament, Rashid Kassim, has been arrested after being accused of causing “actual bodily harm” to his female colleague, the Kenyan Police Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said.
In a video circulating on social media, MP Fatuma Gedi said she was walking out of the Parliament in Nairobi Thursday morning, when she met Kassim, who she says confronted her over why she did not allocate money to his constituency.
Gedi said after explaining her position, she was told she was “stupid” and was struck several times in the mouth and jaw. “And then he hit me, he punched me here,” Gedi said, gesturing towards her mouth. “And then again, and I was shocked.”
MP Sabina Chege is the Muranga County Women’s Representative and said she was a witness to the alleged assault.
She told CNN on Friday, “Mr. Rashid was complaining about funds allocation for his constituency by Hon. Fatuma Gedi who sits on the budget committee, she told him the issue was before the public participation committee of which Rashid never attended.”
She continued, “He became agitated and started hurling insults at the MP and then he hit her, not once but twice slapped on the face.”
Chege said she and other MPs stormed out of Parliament during the next session in protest.
“This came as a shock to all of us, it’s bad and demeaning, how can a Member of Parliament be attacked inside the precincts of the house,” she said.
“It’s sad that male Members of Parliament are threatened by our presence, they are thinking we are taking their territories and they are not ready to accommodate powerful women leaders coming up. Instead of being scared they should all do their job of service delivery like we do, not hit women. No,” Chege added.
CNN has attempted to contact the accused MP Rashid Kassim for a statement but is yet to receive a response.
The Kenyan Police Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said “further investigations are ongoing.”
Journalist Idris Muktar reported from Nairobi and CNN’s AJ Davis wrote from Atlanta.