Ms Shy-Rose Bhanji
Nairobi/Arusha. Kenyan police are investigating an incident in which a Tanzanian member of the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) allegedly assaulted a fellow lawmaker and compatriot in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Ms Shy-Rose Bhanji allegedly confronted and hit Dr Nderakindo Kessy outside the debating chamber. Ms Bhanji could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Eala insiders linked the incident with the dispute pitting members who want to oust Eala Speaker Margaret Zziwa against those supporting the embattled Ugandan head of the assembly.
Ms Zziwa, who was elected in 2012, has since earlier this year been battling accusations of incompetence, nepotism and intimidation of lawmakers and staff.
Dr Kessy said in the statement she recorded at Parliament Police Station that Ms Bhanji attacked her shortly after the assembly was adjourned following its official opening on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses, including some Eala MPs, said Ms Bhanji first elbowed Dr Kessy as they filed out of the hall.
Dr Kessy told The Citizen by telephone yesterday that was treated at a nearby hospital and her back was still painful.
On Monday, Dr Kessy read out a resolution in which some MPs vowed to continue with their push to remove the Speaker and punish Ms Bhanji for alleged misconduct.
Dr Kessy is the secretary of the “Crisis Committee” formed by some Eala MPs in Kigali last month to push for the removal of Ms Zziwa as speaker and Ms Bhanji from the Eala Commission.
Tanzanian MPs are required to reach a consensus on the leadership crisis and the pending motion to remove Ms Bhanji as a commission member.
Ms Bhanji was accused, among other things, of being drunk and disorderly, on a flight to Brussels last month, but she said in Dar last week that her detractors had not put the accusations in writing and were just engaging in “gossip”.
“If indeed I was drunk and violent on the plane, I would have been arrested and charged in accordance with international air safety regulations. This did not happen…these allegations are false. This is part of a character assassination plot that is now in top gear following my refusal to be part of the group that wants to impeach Zziwa,” she said.