Ichung'wah Exposes How Some MPs Sneak Women Into Parliament

Ichung'wah observed that there were some unnamed Members of Parliament (MP) inviting unauthorised guests to the exclusive members-only areas

Ichung'wah Exposes How Some MPs Sneak Women Into Parliament
National Assembly Majority Leader, Kimani Ichung'wah speaking in Parliament on November 29, 2023. /PARLIAMENT OF KENYA

National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah on Tuesday, November 28 complained regarding a dangerous trend emerging from the precincts of Parliament which he termed as a breach of its protocol and an affront to the dignity of the House.

While giving his submissions on the floor of the House, Ichung'wah observed that there were some unnamed Members of Parliament (MP) inviting unauthorised guests to the exclusive members-only areas, specifically the lounge and bar.

He outlined two areas in Parliament; one designated exclusively for visitors and the other assigned to sitting members, with the latter inviting visitors from the former to an area where sitting members go and caucus as well as lobby each other, a matter Ichung'wah termed discomforting and a breach of privacy.

Parliament buildings in Nairobi. /PARLIAMENT OF KENYA

To prove his point, the Kikuyu MP shared a case study of two lawmakers who had invited women to the members-only bar, whom he did not name.

"One of these Wednesday evenings when the House sits till 9 pm, to walk to the Members' Bar...I will not on this occasion name the two members who had invited female visitors to the members' bar," he disclosed.

Though choosing to conceal their identity, Ichung'wah threatened to name and shame them in front of the House should they be caught repeating the same act.

"I will not name them but should the same be repeated and I'll be relaying the names to your office so that you take action and, honourable speaker, let me just say it loud and clear. I will name you in public, on the floor because that bar, for those who patronize the bar, is strictly for sitting members,” he expressed.

The Majority Leader concluded by seeking guidance from Speaker Moses Wetangula to reinforce the rules, making it clear that they are intended for sitting members only.

“I don't drink anything other than a soda there, but I have a few friends some of whom are looking at me salivating now, who know that occasionally I pass by there and do the necessary to quench their thirst.

“You can imagine the embarrassment you face when you walk into that bar, you are going to socialize with fellow members, and you find female strangers who are aliens to us in the House,” he divulged.

Wetangula responded by directing the Chief Sergeant-At-Arms to ensure that no visitor gains access to areas designated for members of Parliament only.

“Further, no Member shall take a guest to an area of the restaurant reserved for members only, unless permitted by the Honourable Speaker,” he said.

Article 118 of the Constitution provides for public access and participation in the conduct of business of Parliament. As such, the public is allowed to use two entrances to the National Assembly; one along Parliament Road opposite KICC parking and the other along Harambee Avenue opposite County Hall.

The precincts of Parliament consist of several buildings. They include Main Parliament Buildings, Continental House, Protection House, County Hall, Imani House, Harambee Sacco, County House and Ukulima House within Nairobi CBD and the Centre for Parliamentary Studies and Training (CPST) in Karen.

Visitors are advised to make their own parking arrangements. 

Conditions of entry into Parliament

  1. Visitors must go through security screening and inspection of personal possessions.
  2. Prohibited or offensive implements, drugs, or other substances are not permitted and must be surrendered to the Parliamentary Security Service Officer.
  3. Visitors must comply with any reasonable directions given by a Parliamentary Security Service Officer.
  4. Facial identification may be required upon request by a Parliamentary Security Service Officer.
  5. Demonstrations or protests are not permitted within the parliamentary precinct
  6. Visitors to private areas must be accompanied and must present appropriate photo identification.

You're also advised to carry your National Identity Card or passport and are expected to cooperate with security officers at the entrance and anywhere else within the vicinity of Parliament.

"Following clearance by security, your identification document shall be retained by security officers, and you will be issued with a Visitor's Card which must be returned at the time of departure," Parliament's regulations read in part.

The National Assembly in session on June 14, 2023. /PARLIAMENT OF KENYA