An MP is in trouble after she posted pictures on social media in which she poses next to the flag of Somalia and a portrait of the country’s president Mohamed Farmaajo.
Garissa Woman Representative Anab Subow Gure said on Twitter that since the photos were published her security has been withdrawn and there has been unusual police presence around her home.
“A contingent of police officers have also been seen in and around my estate. Even if you withdraw my security,” she posted on Friday.
The publication of the pictures irked a section of Kenyans, who questioned her patriotism to Kenya as she appeared to be embracing President Farmaajo, who has recently announced cessation of diplomatic relations with Kenya and kicked out Nairobi’s diplomats from Mogadishu.
The Somali president also ramped up his country’s military presence on the border with Kenya as his government accused Nairobi of violating Somali sovereignty and meddling in its internal affairs before a general election.
The cutting of diplomatic ties came as President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted the leader of the breakaway Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi.
Lawyer Donald Kipkorir, in a Twitter post, was among those questioning the legislator’s patriotism. “Displaying a President and flag of an enemy state in a public office is treason and treachery,” said Mr Kipkorir.
Some reports suggest that the Woman Representative has blood relations with the Somali president, but the Sunday Nation could not independently confirm this as Ms Gure could not be reached on her phone.
The MP, who is politically aligned to the Tangatanga wing of Jubilee Party of Deputy President William Ruto, suggested that she was being targeted because of her political stand.
“I cannot be intimidated nor coerced by anybody. I am available and can be summoned at any time of the week but not intimidations and arm-twisting. We’re not in a police state. Kenya is a sovereign country,” she stated.
Some of her Tangatanga colleagues took to social media to defend her and castigate the police. Kandara MP Alice Wahome wondered why police had to be sent to the MP’s house instead of summoning her. “Give us a break, lords of impunity,” the Kandara MP said.
A member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly, Abdikadir Aden, also weighed in on the saga, stating that there was nothing wrong with the MP posing with the flag and portrait of the president of Somalia.
“Whoever is seeking to arrest Gure for apparently being seen to like President Farmaajo and standing next to Somalia’s flag is wrong. How many times have we seen citizens waving the flags of other nations, including the US’s, in the open? Somalia is not at war with Kenya,” the former Balambala MP said.