Ad­vo­cate slammed over slan­der­ing rape com­ments

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

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

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