Residents of Kongowea in Nyali subcounty, have threatened to storm the office of the area chief Yasmin Omar after they were denied services for putting short dresses.
According to Andrew Mativo, a human rights defender in Kongowea, young women were allegedly turned away from the chief’s office because of inappropriate dressing.
“We will eject the chief out of that public office. She has devised ways of harassing women dressed in shorts, miniskirts ,dresses and sleeveless tops by not serving them. We have said enough is enough we have tried to use dialogue however she still maintains that no one dressed, in those clothes will access services at her office,” the human rights defender said.
Caroline Wambua, a resident of Kongowea said she was turned away from the chief’s office yesterday because she was dressed in a sleeveless blouse and tight pants.
“I felt embarrassed while in a queue waiting to apply for an identity card, I was handpicked by two village elders who told me I was dressed badly, and I needed to go home,” Wambui said.
Mombasa County Commissioner, Gilbert Kitiyo said that it was wrong for the chief to deny Kenyans public services because of inappropriate dressing.
“I have neither heard nor read of any section of the constitution that can be used to turn away Kenyans from public offices due to the way one is dressed, the office should be in a position to advise those whom they think are badly dressed and not to turn them away,” the commissioner said.
The commissioner further noted that all those who had been denied services should file a formal complaint with the police.
“To enable me to take necessary action against the chief, let all those who have been harassed file a formal complaint so that I may have the cause to reprimand her,” Kitiyo said.
Efforts to reach the chief for a comment were futile since she did not respond to calls from K24 Digital.