Kwale Woman Rep Zuleikha Hassan sent away from Parliament chambers after showing up with baby

Kwale Woman Rep Zuleikha Hassan sent away from Parliament chambers after showing up with baby

- MP Zuleikha walked inside the National Assembly with her baby during morning session

- The MPs were debating Kenya-Somalia Maritime Border Dispute Resolution at that time

- Acting Speaker asked sergeant-at-arms to get the Kwale politician out of the chamber

- The lawmaker complained she had an emergency and badly wanted to attend the session

- She accused Parliament of failing to build facilities for lactating mothers despite passing a law to such effect

Drama and confusion greeted the National Assembly after Kwale Woman Representative Zuleikha Hassan was sent out of the chamber on the morning of Wednesday, August 7.

The lawmaker had walked into the House with her baby prompting acting Speaker Chris Omulele to order her out terming the action unprocedural.

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Bunge TV.

Zuleikha walked into the chamber with her baby prompting acting Speaker Chris Omulele to order her out. Photo: Bunge TV.
Source: UGC

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Bemused lawmakers watched in dismay as an equally vexed Zuleikha was walked out by the sergeant-at-arms despite her pleadings.

This happened as the lawmakers were debating the Kenya-Somalia Maritime Border Dispute Resolution during which Majority Leader Aden Duale was making his submission.

Speaking to journalists outside the chamber, the MP clarified she had an emergency and being a mother of three, she could not leave her suckling baby behind.

Zuleikha Hassan Juma.

Kwale Woman Rep Zuleikha Hassan speaking at a past function. The lawmaker was ordered out of Parliament on Wednesday, August 7. Photo: Zuleikha Hassan Juma/Facebook.
Source: Facebook

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She blamed Parliamentary Service Commission for not establishing a breastfeeding unit in the House even though MPs had passed a bill in 2013 allowing lactating legislators to bring their children within the precincts of Parliament .

"I had an emergency today and I had to come with the baby. There was a rule in 2013 we build a space for babies and breastfeeding services and family friendly offices. She is still breastfeeding and I want her to breastfeed her as much as it is required. This is my third child. I have never done this before. It is like I have been punished for having child.
“The PSC passed a bill in August 2013, providing that we travel with care givers when going for sittings and meetings besides a room. A baby is a normal part of life of a woman," she complained.

Homa Bay MP Opondo Kaluma and his Alego Usonga counterpart Samuel Atandi sharply differed with the Speaker and asked Zuleikha to stay put.

Atandi was later thrown out after he attempted to block Parliament orderlies from removing her from the House.

"If you are a Member of Parliament who is breastfeeding, in the best interest of that child, the child cannot be separated from you when you are in the course of your duty in the Assembly," Kaluma argued.

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