A female Kenyan senator who describes herself as a whistleblower has been suspended for six months by a parliamentary committee.
Gloria Orwoba was hauled before the Powers and Privileges Committee for comments she made on senate WhatsApp groups and at a press briefing alleging there was a culture in parliament of favouritism, ethnic discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment.
She suggested that behind the scenes the only way to get things done was to offer kickbacks or sexual favours, which she refused to do.
Her messages and complaints to colleagues were often accompanied by the hashtag #NoSexForWork.
But the committee said her accusations were unsubstantiated and after her ban was over, she would have to apologise for her comments before being allowed back to work.
In response to her suspension, Ms Orwoba, who is on a work trip to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, said the committee had issued its report despite the fact that she had filed a case in court over the matter as she did not feel she would get a fair hearing.
She alleged the committee had gone ahead and published its report, despite the legal case, because of a recent request she had made for the travel expenses of senators and staff from October 2022 to September 2023 to be made public.
Ms Orwoba said her request had brought about “panic and anxiety in high offices in parliament”.
“Swiftly after this request, the motion to suspend me, which was earlier adjourned was reintroduced while I was away,” she alleged.
It is not the first time the 37-year-old politician, who also campaigns to end stigma about periods, has got into trouble with her colleagues.
In February she was asked to leave parliament for failing to adhere to the house’s dress code because of an apparent period blood stain in the crotch of her white trouser suit.
At the time she dismissed criticism from those who called her disrespectful, saying accidents happen: “Since I am always advocating against period shame, I thought I should go ahead and walk the talk.”
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