In a novel new twist on get-out-the-vote drives, a Kenyan opposition politician is encouraging the country’s women to withhold sex until their husband’s register to vote in the August general election.
Mishi Mboko, the women’s representative in Kenya’s second-largest city, Mombasa, was speaking at the start of an event to mark a month-long voter-registration drive ahead of the deadline on Feb. 17.
“Women, this is the strategy you should adopt,” she said of the sex boycott, reports Kenyan newspaper The Standard. “It is the best. Deny them sex until they show you their voter’s card.”
Mboko is married but revealed that her husband would not be impacted by the boycott having already registered to vote. The MP is a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which is part of an opposition alliance hoping to prevent current president Uhuru Kenyatta from winning a second term. The National Super Alliance (NASA) has claimed that the ruling Jubilee Alliance has attempted to weaken opposition unity, accusing it of arresting Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho last week.
“NASA is not going to disintegrate and it is the best alliance ever formed to beat Jubilee at its own game,” Mboko said. “They think they are weakening the Opposition at the Coast by harassing Governor Joho but they are only strengthening and popularizing him.”
Kenyatta was charged by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in 2012 in relation to ethnic violence following national elections in December 2007 in which 1,200 people died. The charges were withdrawn in 2015 after prosecutors claimed that the Kenyan government refused to cooperate in the case, withholding vital documents and intimidating witnesses.
The aftermath of the 2007 election led to political and economic turmoil in the country and prompted women’s organizations to call for a national sex boycott in an attempt to force male politicians to resolve their differences. While the groups claimed the move was a success it led to one man suing them over alleged “mental anguish” sustained during the sex strike.