Advocate slammed over slandering rape comments
NAIROBI – A Kenyan High Court advocate has drawn heavy criticism from a rights group after he made slandering rape comments towards a female political rival on a popular national television show.
“You are so beautiful; everybody wants to rape Pasaris,” Advocate Miguna Miguna said to politician Esther Pasaris during a show hosted by a former CNN correspondent, Jeff Koinange.
Miguna also made disparaging comments about Pasaris’s looks, and openly mocked her: “A woman who has absolutely no integrity. A socialite bimbo whose only claim to fame is because she is looking for billionaire sponsors [sugar daddies].”
Miguna, is a former aide to opposition leader Raila Odinga. He plans to run for governor of Nairobi next year. Pasaris is also eyeing the same seat.
Miguna claimed the confrontation occurred after Pasaris called him a rapist during a commercial break.
According to Human Rights Watch (HRW) his comments raised a lot of concern about the treatment of women in the east African country.
The group said that “trivilialising sexual abuse” was “no entertainment”.
Women in Kenya faced widespread violence, with the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Healthy Survey indicating that 45 percent of women aged between 15-49 had experienced physical violence and 14 percent had experienced sexual violence. The same survey showed high rates of acceptance of wife beating. HRW said that the media had a role to play in combatting gender stereotypes that discriminated against women and promote respect for women.
“It is outrageous that Miguna, who aspires to be a political leader who will bear responsibility for addressing violence against women, would publicly joke about the rape of the woman running against him.
“It is also outrageous that he was able to do so on air without being challenged by the show’s host. His comments reinforce a culture of misogyny and abuse often directed toward female candidates,” HRW said.
Kenya is set to hold general elections next year in August. — AFP CAPE TOWN — The African Union Commission is reportedly set to hold its first-ever debate for the five candidates seeking to head the continental body and take over from the current chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
According to BBC Live, an invitation from the commission stated that all the candidates who had expressed interest in contesting would take part in a “town hall-style” debate on December 9 at the AU’s headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The elections were due in January 2017. “It is our sincere belief that this debate will help in the transformation of our union and Africa, as often elections of the union leadership occur behind closed doors, thus denying the broad African public an opportunity to be informed and participate in the work of the commission,” the commission was quoted as saying.
African heads of state failed to elect a new head of the commission in July after they were unable to agree on a successor to lead the executive branch of the continental body during its 27th summit in Kigali, Rwanda.
None of the three candidates at the time was able to muster the two-thirds majority required to win the secret ballot.
Five contenders had shown interest in next year’s elections. See their names below:
Botswana’s Penelope Venson minister
Chad’s Moussa Faki Mahamat minister
Equatorial Guinea’s Agapito Mba Mokuy — currently foreign minister Kenya’s Amina Mohamed — currently foreign minister Senegal’s Bathily Abdoulaye — currently special UN envoy for Central Africa. — AFP — currently foreign — currently foreign