The Kenyan Parliament is known for its drama and controversy that often characterises debates – especially on controversial matters.
Serving in Parliament with my mother in-law has been very difficult – Youthful MP narrates
"I usually ask female MPs to keep her out when I want to say something crazy"
There have been cases of MPs removing their underpants, to physical fights, and even allegations of sexual assaults during international trips.
While most MPs are not bothered by such incidents, it is not the case for Belgut MP Nelson Koech and Bomet East MP Beatrice Kones.
Nelson is married to Beatrice’s daughter, which makes them in-laws, a blessing but also a challenge as the youthful MP narrated.
“It is very tricky, especially from my traditional Kalenjin man. We tend to have a lot of respect for the mother in law, so much so that you are not allowed to visit her often but for me, we always bump into each other whenever there is a tension.”
“Many times, I have had to request the clerk to book a different hotel for me from the other MPs, not because of the mischief we may want to engage in but out of respect for space,” Nelson said in a recent media interview.
The Belgut MP added that to avoid awkward moments, her female colleagues often assist him to dodge his in-law.
“Whenever we are in Parliament, we work very well. I will contribute on the floor of the house and she will do the same. But sometimes whenever I want to say something controversial, I will have my female colleagues keep her out to allow me to say something crazy. They also text me if they are discussing their own things, say in the restaurant area, so I can keep off,” he added.
Interestingly, Beatrice faced off with her own son for the Bomet East parliamentary seat during the 2017 general election.
Nelson recalled that choosing who to support between his brother -in-law and his mother in law was “an extremely difficult situation”.
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