Women legislators today suffered a major blow after Members of Parliament ganged up to defeat amendments to the Sexual Offences Bill that would introduce harsh penalties and fines to offenders.
The Bill has also sought to criminalize out of court settlements by those who commit sexual offences.
The bill also seeks to bar men from taking advantage of women in crowded places as it cites as unlawful acts any intentional contact between any part of the body of a person with genital organs, breasts or buttocks of another but does not include actual penetration.
The men MPs declined to support the bill despite deputy speaker Joyce Laboso calling for a vote on the bill two times.
And immediately the vote was announced, Busia County MP Florence Mutua who is the author of the bill walked out of the chambers in a huff and waved Bill to her male colleagues who watched in amusement.
Mutua who spoke later accused her male colleagues of ganging up to reject the bill without even raising an issue to the clauses they have a problem with.
She said that she was aware that lobbying had been going on since last week to have the bill defeated despite her agreeing to have some of the contentious clauses amended at the third reading.
And following the move, Mutua sad that she will re-introduce the bill after six months in order to ensure that she protects the rights of children.
The bill which failed at the second reading had proposed amendments that would have prohibited individuals from engaging in plea bargaining and collusion in sexual offences that help them evade justice and conceal a sexual offence like it has been happening in the past.
Individuals who engage in such acts of concealing a crime, says the bill would have been liable to a fine of Sh 500000 or imprisonment for a period of five years.