ODM SG, Edwin Sifuna blasted over insensitive rape remarks

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ODM Party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna has come under backlash after his insensitive remarks over rape in Msambweni.

The battle for the Mswambweni By-election, set to take place on Tuesday, has seen tempers flare. While ODM is fielding its candidate backed by Jubliee, those aligned to DP Ruto support a different candidate called Faisal Abdalla Bader. Jumwa has aligned herself to the DP for some time now and appears to be running counter to ODM in the By-election.

Bitter exchange

On Saturday, the exchange took place when both parties had camped at Msambweni in the homestretch campaigns before the elections on Tuesday.

The Malindi MP had earlier directed at comment at ODM’s top honchos. In her remarks, Jumwa appeared to allege that they had threatened to take her and do the unmentionable to her.

Jumwa, on her part, also alluded to rape as something normal. she said he was welcome and that she was not scared of it.

Sifuna wasted no chance in responding. However, rather than respond in kind, Sifuna said that Jumwa was too ugly for someone to rape. The baffling remarks came as ODM campaigned for Omar Idd Boga, the candidate they are fielding in Msambweni.

Lifelong trauma of rape

The remarks point to a disturbing trend in Kenyan politics of continued objectifying of women’s bodies, even by women themselves, as Jumwa did. Rape is one of the worst experiences that anyone can ever go through, with women often forming the bulk of the victims.

On the other hand, people (mostly men) mock other men when it happens to them. Rape can often result in lifelong trauma. Furthermore, rape has never been about attraction, but about power.

Justified backlash

Indeed, Sifuna’s remarks saw him get a fair share backlash on Twitter.

Nominated Senator, Millicent Omanga, termed Sifuna’s comments as ‘sexist, derogatory and misogynistic. She said that they were a type of comment that was ‘confounding’ coming from someone holding such a high public office.

ODM Communications Director Philip Etale also faced backlash for cheering on Sifuna’s comments.

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