Romantic relationships between political leaders are not new in Kenya. In 2013, Mike Mbuvi Sonko and Rachel Shebesh were seen, by many, as the perfect political couple.
Their affair didn’t last long thought as it spilled into the public domain with reports of a physical altercation and the public exchange of unkind words when Sonko fought with Shebesh within Parliament buildings.
The fight appeared to have been continuation of an earlier confrontation the two had at a Hotel in Upper Hill. Aides close to them revealed that the genesis of the fight could be a phone call that Shebesh allegedly received from a senior opposition leader.
Sonko allegedly was not too pleased that Shebesh was on phone for long and he tried wresting the phone, a red Samsung S3, from her.
The Nairobi women’s representative tried to resist and in the process, sprained her wrist as Sonko took the phone from her hand. Sonko is said to have smashed the phone against a wall, before stamping on it and breaking the phone to pieces.
A verbal confrontation ensued and the two parted ways.
Five days later, the two met at National Prayer breakfast hosted by President Uhuru and they avoided each other. Sonko later accused Shebesh of trying to ruin his marriage.
In 2014 another scandal from parliament came up as Taita Taveta women representative Joyce Lay shot to national limelight when she sensationally accused Turbo MP Elisha Busienei of sexual harassment during a foreign trip in Tokyo.
Lay, who was among a group of MPs drawn from the National Assembly Committee on Defence and Foreign Relations who travelled to Japan with President Uhuru Kenyatta, said the MP called her “useless” after she turned down his advances.
The woman representative accused the MP, a first term legislator from Rift Valley region, of manhandling her in her hotel room.
Around the same time nominated senator Joy Gwendo was at the centre of a love triangle involving a married man, Thomas Mbewa. Gwendo, who had recently spent a night at Muthaiga police station after failing an alcoblow test, had been labelled a husband snatcher by close friends of the man’s wife.
Senator Gwendo had been dating Thomas Mbewa, an affair that has strained his eight year marriage to wife Pauline.
Mbewa did not deny the affair, boldly declaring they were engaged to be married.
“It is true I’m dating Joy and we have known each other for the last three years. It’s been an off and on relationship which my wife knows about and we decided to formalise it.
We are now engaged and very soon I will call you and other members of the fourth estate for a formal marriage,” said Mbewa.