Fox News journalist Emily Compagno has come under fire from Kenyans after she gave misleading information about voting rights in Kenya.
While speaking to a panel, the TV personality, who currently appears as a contributor on Fox News Channel, stated that pregnant Kenyan women are not allowed to leave the house to vote.
“What about in Kenya, where pregnant women cannot leave the house, so they absolutely have no constructive right to vote," she said.
Her sentiments have since evoked mixed reactions from Kenyans more specifically those on Twitter who gave their two cents on the matter.
What is this? What is @EmilyCompagno saying? That in Kenya pregnant women can’t leave the house so they have no right to vote? What does she imagine our country is like? That statement is incorrect, misleading, condescending and should be withdrawn. pic.twitter.com/nHAoj9puZK
— Pauline Njoroge, HSC (@paulinenjoroge) July 6, 2022.
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Some were of the opinion that the journalist and the entire media house should offer an apology for the misinformation that is now a trending topic.
“Pregnant women in Kenya are allowed to leave the house. Pregnant women in Kenya can vote. Pregnant women get priority on voting lines. Pregnant women do give birth free of charge under the government #lindamama program. Retract your statement”, tweeted Esther Passaris.
“American-style arguments. It is a curriculum problem. Forgive them. There are gaps in their educational model. Making things up and putting frills on gross ignorance are just some symptoms of the crisis. I hear researching ideas before publicly pontificating is a crime there”, tweeted Yvonne Owuor.
“In fact, expectant mothers do not queue to vote in Kenya. In 2017 we had a mother safely give birth at a polling station and the baby was named Chepkura which means that who's born during voting. Kenya may be having other problems but democracy levels are laudable. Check ur facts”, tweeted Michael Ollinga.
“Such ignorance. We can't allow people to just make up stuff and get away with it. Doesn't she know that there are women in this country who go work in the fields and till the land when heavily pregnant? What Kenya is she talking about? tweeted Mwongera Mutiga.
The Kenyan Constitution 2010 clearly states that every citizen has the right to vote without unreasonable restrictions in Article 38.
(1) Every citizen is free to make political choices
(2) Every citizen has the right to free, fair and regular elections based on universal suffrage and the free expression of the will of the electors…
(3) Every adult citizen has the right, without unreasonable restrictions:
- to be registered as a voter;
- to vote by secret ballot in any election or referendum…
This is further highlighted in Article 27, section 4 which states that the State shall not discriminate directly or indirectly against any person on any ground, including…disability.
The same is emphasized in Article 82 in section 2 of the constitution whereby voting in every election:
-takes into account the special needs of:
-persons with disabilities; and
-other persons or groups with special needs.
Source: Kenyan constitution 2010