Azimio Principal Martha Karua on Thursday jumped to the defense of embattled nominated senator Gloria Orwoba who was suspended from Parliament for 6 months on Wednesday, September 20, for making 'unsubstantiated' sexual harassment claims.
In a statement, the former Gichugu MP termed the suspension unfair and excessive, holding that the Senate should have dismissed the charges if the evidence fell short of the required threshold.
"Manifestly unfair and excessive. Senate which is male dominated is telling women including women senators dare you complain of sexual harassment we shall exterminate you," Karua said in a statement.
"This is patriarchy silencing women on matters of sexual harassment," she added.
The veteran politician further challenged Parliamentary institutions including The Senate and National Assembly to examine the matter at great detail to ensure that justice is served.
Karua observed that while it is important to prosecute the case without punishing the innocent, it is also important to ensure that sexual cases are examined thoroughly so as not to discourage victims from reporting.
"The Senate has used a sledgehammer to kill a fly so to speak," she said.
The Azimio principal further condemned the utterances made by a section of the lawmakers during the session that resolved to suspend Orwoba.
"Some of the language used during the debate was paternalistic, especially to young female senators offering them guidance, an assumption that they need guidance as a specific group. Totally unacceptable," she said.
Before Orwoba was suspended on Wednesday, Senators engaged in a heated debate. Most female lawmakers in the chambers protested the decision to suspend their colleague while their male counterparts maintained that evidence must be produced to warrant making such claims.
Legislators also faulted Orwoba for failing to appear before the committee to defend herself against charges leveled against her.
Orwoba had initially been summoned for grilling by the committee where she was expected to substantiate her claims detailing how she was sexually harassed by a clerk at the chambers.
Senators want the legislator to issue a formal apology before she is allowed back in Parliament.
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