Monday, February 4, 2008

Here's to the Doubting Thomases...

Kenya legislator says first lady assaulted him
Mon 4 Feb 2008, 12:57 GMT

NAIROBI, Feb 4 (Reuters) - A Kenyan legislator accused First Lady Lucy Kibaki of physically assaulting him at a meeting at the official State House residence three weeks ago and said he planned to sue her.

Government-allied legislator Gitobu Imanyara, a lawyer who unsuccessfully sued the first lady on behalf of a television cameraman who said she slapped him in 2005, told reporters he had been the latest target of Lucy Kibaki’s ire. The president is currently wrestling with a national crisis over disputed elections that have ignited opposition calls for his removal and widespread ethnic bloodshed. On the accusations against his wife, his office had no immediate comment. “I will be bringing proceedings against her this week, so we can give her an opportunity to come to court and tell the Kenyan people why she thinks that she has control of State House, that she can run amok,” Imanyara told reporters.

He said he was in State House for a meeting about the race for parliament speaker when the first lady became angry at his presence because he had been involved in the earlier lawsuit. “She was in pyjamas and not wearing any shoes. She immediately started throwing punches at me shouting ‘nobody goes here without my permission’,” Imanyara said.

Imanyara said President Kibaki had apologised and he had initially decided to keep quiet. But he said Lucy Kibaki had been “screaming and talking about it”. Lucy Kibaki, known to be fiercely protective of her husband, has been at the centre of controversy on several occasions. In December, local media reported that she slapped a protocol official who called her by the name of a woman widely reported to be the president’s second wife. In 2005, she stormed Nation Media’s newsroom to complain about a story and slapped cameraman Clifford Derrick while her security detail and police looked on helplessly as she took journalists hostage for hours. In fact she had the wrong newsroom, as the source of her anger was a story by the rival Standard media group. In 2004, she publicly upbraided Vice President Moody Awori, who called her the “second lady.” She also shouted down a former World Bank country director for playing loud music at a party at the home he had rented from the Kibaki family.

Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Writing by Bryson Hull, editing by Ralph Boulton
© Reuters 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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