A senior Chinese official was allegedly assaulted by a legislator as he waited to receive a Chinese delegation arriving in the country to boost tourism.
Mr Lui Jie was in the baggage hall, a restricted area at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, with other airport officials last Friday.
At 4.30pm, MPs Ababu Namwamba (Budalangi), John Waluke (Sirisia) and Charles Mon’gare (North Mugirango) arrived at the airport and confronted Mr Lui, demanding to know why and how he had accessed a restricted area.
Mr Lui is the representative of the China Africa Development Fund. The visitors he was to receive were from the China National Tourism Administration.
The MPs started taking photographs of the official and when a security officer did not give them any explanation, Major (Rtd) Waluke allegedly slapped Mr Lui on the left eye, and threw away the flowers that were to be given to the vice-chairman of the China Africa Development Fund, Mr Wang Zhifa, who was leading the delegation.
The matter was reported to the airport police station and Mr Lui was referred to Port Health Clinic for treatment.
The Kenya Airports Police Unit Commandant Joseph ole Tito yesterday said they were investigating the case.
“The alleged assault was reported at the station on Friday, May 16,” he said.
Mr Namwamba on Tuesday admitted they confronted the official but denied he was assaulted. He said they had just arrived from Zambia when they spotted three men in the restricted area at the airport.
“When we alighted, we spotted the Chinese officials in a restricted area, without any security officer. It drew our attention given the high cases of insecurity incidents in the country,” he said.
Mr Tito said that even if the officials had been issued with temporary passes, they could not be allowed in such areas unaccompanied.
Mr Namwamba said they called in security officers who said they were not aware of the officials’ presence.
“Another security officer was called in and he said he had received a call from one of his seniors who directed him to prepare a table for the Chinese,” said the legislator.
The Kenya Airports Authority maintained that the officials were accompanied by a security warden, Mr Felix Wangi. The authority also said that an official from China had applied for the passes to access restricted areas, and were granted. They were then assigned two security wardens.
Maj (Rtd) Waluke is one of the directors of Erad Supplies and General Contracts Limited, who moved to court seeking to auction National Cereals and Produce Board silos over a contentious award occasioned by breach of contract.