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Angry legislator berates officer over her conduct

RIFT VALLEY
By Fred Kibor | April 6th 2020
National Assembly Health Committee Vice Chairman Swarup Mishra addressing the media. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]

Kesses MP Swarup Mishra was yesterday forced to publicly apologise after a video showing him bullying and hurling expletives at a senior policewoman surfaced online.

In the video, the visibly agitated MP is seen rising from his chair and charging at the officer while abusing her. It took the spirited effort of his handlers to calm him down.

The clash prompted Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Abdulrazak Jaldesa to convene a crisis county security committee meeting yesterday afternoon. Mishra, the senior police officer, and Kesses Sub-county deputy county commissioner were summoned before the team.

In one of the videos, a policewoman is seen approaching the MP who is seated and tries to explain why she is late for a meeting.

“I was told this one is supposed to be for the chiefs," she says in reference to the meeting. "I am the deputy OCPD and I got information late,” the officer identified as Cecilia Kemboi is seen explaining herself to the enraged MP.

The MP had on Saturday called on the security officers to assist him in distributing food rations to the elderly and vulnerable people in his constituency as one way of assisting them stay at home to ward off exposure to the Covid-19 global pandemic. The meeting was to fine-tune the mode of distributing the foodstuff.

Initially, the MP wanted to personally distribute the foodstuff worth Sh30 million, but he was advised against the move in adherence to the government guidelines on social distancing and ban on public gatherings.

The MP, in an explosive rage, calls the OCPD and puts him on the speaker phone to ostensibly register his displeasure on 'the conduct' of the police officer.

He asks the ‘OCPD’ to find a replacement because he needs proactive individuals in his Kesses Constituency and instructs him to escalate the matter to area police commander Johnstone Ipara, while the person on the other end of the telephone could be heard apologising to him over the matter.

In the second video, the MP is seen protesting: “No, they have to go now... three hours I have been sitting here. My people are scorched by the sun. Switch off the phone. Is this the way we work here… or I resign now.”

It later emerged that the MP was angered by the lateness of the security team led by Kesses Sub-County Deputy Commissioner James Tari, keeping him and the chiefs waiting for hours.

However, the MP sought forgiveness for publicly disparaging the officer yesterday, saying he overreacted and was remorseful over the entire incident.

“The matter has since been blown out of proportion and I have since apologised to the police officer, together with the entire security team and reconciled. I overreacted because of their lateness and nothing sinister,” he said yesterday.

He said that since Covid-19 disease is highly contagious, delivery of foodstuff will be done through chiefs and the police will restore order.

On his part, the deputy county commissioner said the security team was to blame for attending the meeting three hours late.

Jaldesa said following the security meeting, the matter had been rested after the Kesses sub-county security team accepted the MP's apology.

However, he suspended food distribution until all county stakeholders agree on a co-ordinated approach.

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