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How I beat restrictive security to sneak my baby into Parliament

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Kwale Woman Representative Zuleikha Juma Hassan says she has no regrets entering the debating Chamber of the National Assembly on Wednesday with her five-month-old baby girl.

The incident was captured by both local and international media. The Chamber is only reserved for 349 elected and nominated members, the Speaker, three clerks and, of course, the sergeant-at-arms.

Ms Hassan argues that hers was a case of agitating for the issues affecting women, especially the employed, who lack basic amenities like crèches at their work places so that they can attend to their children, including by breastfeeding, whenever needed.

She says that she had no intentions whatsoever to go against the Standing Orders, which govern the conduct of MPs, and other persons inside the Chamber or within the precincts of Parliament. The incident coincided with the breastfeeding week, but the mother of three maintains that she was not aware of the occasion.

She says that she has been having problems with who to leave her children, just like any other mother, whenever their nannies call in to say they are sick or have an emergency.

She says she learnt on Tuesday evening that her nanny would not be available. With no intentions of staying at home and miss her parliamentary duties, she resolved to carry the baby to the Chamber. “I had to plan how to drive my point home and, sure enough, it was a success,” Ms Hassan says.

“I said this is enough. Why should I miss work just because I have a baby? This made me reflect that if I don’t do it now, I should forget about it altogether,” she says adding, “I called my hubby and explained to him and he gave me the go-ahead.”

That Wednesday morning, she dressed her baby and set off to work.

“My official car was in Kwale at the time and I decided to take a cab to Bunge,” Ms Hassan said.

With the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) policy on facilitation for lactating MPs and staff of Parliament in place, passing through the heavily guarded gates of Parliament buildings was not a problem.

She later sneaked into the Chambers through the rear entrance, past an absent-minded orderly.

“He tried to block me but it was very late. I was already in the Chamber by the time he was pleading. I went straight to the front row where I wanted the Speaker to notice me easily and started breastfeeding my little angel.”

At the time, temporary Speaker Christopher Omulele (Luanda) was on the chair. “The orderlies came to me in their numbers and requested that I give them the baby. But I told them the baby would cry,” she says.

Mr Omulele later ordered her to leave the Chamber immediately, a thing she terms harsh.

“I believe if it were Mr Muturi, he would have allowed time for other members to have a say on the incident,” she says.

After making her point, she went straight to her house. Later that day, the management of Parliament ordered for the hurried refurbishment of the nursery at Continental House, where MPs have offices. By the end of the day, the room was fully equipped with cots and toys, among other baby items.

The National Assembly Friday night denied claims by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) that Ms Hassan and her baby were manhandled.

“The Standing Orders obligate the Speaker to order a member who conducts himself or herself in a disorderly manner to leave the Chamber. Ms Hassan left the Chamber in compliance with the Speaker’s directive,” said Clerk Michael Sialai.

In its statement, the LSK through its chairman Allen Waiyaki had condemned what it described as archaic act and termed it as grossly unfair and discriminatory to not only the Member of Parliament but also to the infant.

Mr Sialai said Parliament has facilities for lactating members and staff; baby day care within its precincts and that the rule of law and the Constitution is always upheld.

by nation.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Ruth Matete seeks help as she marks first wedding anniversary minus hubby

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Ms Ruth Matete and her husband MrJohn Apewajoye
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Gospel singer Ruth Matete penned a moving message to her newborn daughter as she marked her first wedding anniversary but without her husband Beloved John Apewajoye who died this year.

 The Tusker Project Fame 5 winner welcomed her bundle of joy in October, seven months after the tragic death of her husband.

In a lengthy Instagram post, in which she also attached a photo of her daughter, Reyna Toluwa’s feet, Matete prayed that her daughter would grow up to serve the Lord.

“Reyna Toluwa my princess. My love. Am not a poet, but the words I write here, are from my heart. I pray for you on this special day. That you will grow to serve the Lord. You will spread the good news of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” Matete wrote.

She also declared that Reyna’s feet will carry the good news.

“As the Bible says; ‘And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?’ As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ I declare today, that your feet are beautiful. Not just because they look like your father’s, but also because they will bring good news as the word of God declares,” she added.

 Matete remembered the vows she made on her wedding day, ‘till death do us part’ but she emotionally noted that death took her beloved husband earlier than expected.

“A day like this a year ago, your late father and I walked down the isle. Yes, we didPromised to be together till death do us part. But death came earlier than we expected.  I miss him so much. But am blessed to have you as a gift that he left me with. I don’t even understand how I’ve come this far. It can only be God,” she posted.

Even though it was one of those difficulty days in her life, Matete promised her daughter she would be fine eventually.

“Today may not be such an easy day for mummy. But I promise you, I’ll be fine. I have seen God to be the father to the fatherless and husband to the widow as He has promised in His word. Today won’t be an exception. I know He will help us even today,”  Matete said in the post.

 She ended her emotional message by asking for monetary support as she could not yet manage to resume work after a troublesome pregnancy.

“Friends, our till number remains the same, incase you wish to support us.5495849. Whatever you can, will go a mighty long way as am still not able to work. God bless you friends and please keep us in your prayers,” she added.

By NN


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Lifestyle

World’s most-traveled man Fred Finn says Kenya is the safest place to visit during the pandemic

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Diani beach in Kwale County has played host to the world’s most traveled man, Fred Finn.

Finn has traveled to more than 150 countries at the age of 75 and holds the current Guinness Book World Records.

Finn, who is in the country until Monday, November 30 said Kenya is safe for holiday destinations.

He however noted that his visit at the moment is not for leisure, but to send a message that the country is safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says he has observed that Kenyans are following the protocols and guidelines than any other country he has traveled to during the pandemic.

“I did not come here on holiday, that is why my wife is not with me. I came because whenever Kenya has a little crisis I come and say Kenya is safe” he said

He said, during a pandemic, Kenya is the safest place to go on holiday.

Finn is scheduled to have his vaccine in December.

Tourism players say Finn’s visit to Kenya gives confidence to the international market that the country is an ideal destination.

“When you get an endorsement from the eyes of a traveler that is likely to carry the right persuasion to the potential travelers” said Kioko Musyoki, Leopard Beach General Manager.


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Entertainment

‘I regret…’ Anne Kiguta opens up about posting her daughter on social media

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TV news anchor Anne Kiguta has announced that she would like to share with her fans more about her life.

However, she draws a line on exposing her children to the limelight.

Anne has three children, one from her previous marriage and fraternal twins with Jomo Gecaga.

Responding to a fan who asked her about her babies, Anne posted a photo of her and her twins but blocked out the faces.

In her response she explained,

“Gosh, so many of you have said this… was the number one response. Well, I will have to let you down on that my loves.”

She added,

“I’m rather traditional (believe it or not) so I’m vehemently against it. My babies are are all still too young, including the eldest, to be on social media.”

Anne continued,

“In fact I really regret having posted my eldest at all. Mummy already has a pretty public life. They deserve their privacy.”

But not to break her fans hearts, Anne promised,

“A reference every once in a while but nothing more than that for a long long time.  Hope  you understand.”

In another post she still emphasized,

“That is my son. Quite the charmer. If only I could tell you half of what they say! But all these are are to me sacred moments…really can’t share much more.”

Not to be daunted though, Anne promised to talk about other aspects of her life.

Here are the various topics she is open to talking about.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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