Africa

Kenya MP Gidion Mbuvi to fight for right to wear bling

  • 2 March 2011
  • From the section Africa
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Gidion Mbuvi. File photo
Image caption Gidion Mbuvi is known for his flamboyant dressing style

A Kenyan lawmaker thrown out of parliament for wearing ear studs and sunglasses says he will fight to change the dress regulations.

"I represent the youths who elected me to parliament," Gidion Mbuvi, 35, told the BBC.

"This is our generation. It is our time," said the MP who drives a Hummer car, like many US rap stars.

He says MPs should be allowed to wear "extras" such as sunglasses and earrings, as long as they wear suits.

'Rich and flamboyant'

He said that Kenya had been governed by old men for too long.

"I'm trying to prove to the world that it is the right time for the youth to be in charge of our nation," he said.

He was thrown out of parliament on Tuesday after other MPs decided that the way he dressed offended the dignity of the assembly.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim said the house had never before been entered by a male lawmaker wearing earrings.

But one Kenyan reminded people on the internet that the speaker wears a white wig made of horsehair - and questioned who looked more ridiculous.

Mr Mbuvi is popularly known as Sonko - a Swahili term describing a rich and flamboyant person.

He was elected to parliament last year to represent a constituency in the capital, Nairobi.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says Mr Mbuvi is a colourful character with an even more colourful past.

He has been questioned by police over allegations of involvement in the drug trade, which he vehemently denies.

He has also been sent out of parliament for accusing government ministers of links to the drugs trade and has pending court cases over fraud.

Mr Mbuvi says he has done nothing wrong.

Our correspondent says debate will continue as to whether Mr Mbuvi aka Sonko is suitable material to be an MP.

In Kenya, though, the bar is pretty low, he says, and many feel the title "honourable" is hugely inappropriate.

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