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Wajir Woman Rep Gedi face sanctions for abuse of parliamentary privileges

COUNTIES
By Rawlings Otieno | April 4th 2019
Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi

An MP risks losing her parliamentary seat if found guilty of abuse of office.

Wajir Woman Representative Fatuma Gedi has been accused of using her position to irregularly obtain confidential information to fix four MPs in a controversial sex video linked to her. Ms Gedi, who appeared before the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Committee yesterday, was also accused of misusing official information to advance her interests.

In a complaint to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the MP accused MPs Adan Keynan (Eldas), Abdihakim Osman (Fafi), Purity Wangui (Kirinyaga) and Rehema Jaldesa (Isiolo) of defaming her by circulating the video, which depicted her in a sexual mood.

She has since termed the video as fake.

Gedi (pictured), the vice chairperson of the House committee on Delegated Legislation, was also accused of illegally accessing an internal memo by National Assembly Clerk Michael Sialai seeking an advisory opinion from the legal department on a letter allegedly written by the DCI.

A parliamentary staff, Hassan Noor told the committee that the lawmaker coerced him into providing confidential documents. The documents include a letter to Mr Sialai by the DCI, purportedly summoning the four MPs to record statements.

The committee is chaired by house Speaker Justin Muturi. Limuru MP Peter Mwathi, who chaired yesterday's session, said Gedi could be held to account for misuse of official information as a state officer, which is not available in the public domain to further her private interest.

“Parliamentary investigations were undertaken and it identified the member of staff, who said that the information was sought by Ms Gedi,” Mr Mwathi said.

During interrogation, she was unable to explain why she failed to notify the speaker before reporting the matter to DCI.

It also emerged that she has political differences with the four MPs.

The accusations against Gedi constitute offences under the Powers and Privileges Act, Leadership and Integrity Act and the Government Secrets Act.

Section 22 (1) of the Leadership and Integrity Act provides that a state officer shall not directly or indirectly use or allow any person under the officer’s authority to use any information obtained through or in connection with the office, which is not available in the public domain, for the furthering of any private interest, whether financial or otherwise.

A person who contravenes this provision shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or to both.

Gedi told the committee that she was in the company of two other MPs when Mr Noor brought the documents.

But she would later change her narrative saying that they were given to her driver who brought them.

She repeatedly told the committee that the DCI was investigating the matter, but it later emerged that the agency never summoned the four MPs.

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