Police have arrested renown Congolese musician Koffi Olomide outside Citizen TV studios on Friday evening following widespread condemnation over his assault on a female dancer.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet condemned the musician’s action ordering his lock up.
National Gender and Equality Commission had asked Mr Boinnet to arrest the Lingala star over his action that was caught on camera.
The musician was captured in a video kicking a woman who is believed to be a member of his band moments after they landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Friday morning.
Commission chairperson Winfred Lichuma said it was unfortunate that the incident happened in full glare of cameras and police officers.
“The incident has caused an outpouring of public outrage over the apparent cruelty and inhuman treatment exhibited by a globally renowned musician on one of his band members,” Ms Lichuma said.
She said the musician should be dealt with in accordance with the Kenyan law if he is found guilty of assault.
The commission also said that the musician ought to apologise to the public.
The Penal Code states that any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable to imprisonment for one year.
Video footage of the Congolese Lingala Selfie hit song star and bad boy of African music kicking the woman immediately went viral. Condemnation was instant and all-round.
Three MPs asked how the foreign musician could be allowed to walk free despite committing the offence as police watched.
“Koffi’s passport should be confiscated immediately,” said Taita-Taveta Woman Representative Joyce Lay, who has in the past complained of being assaulted by a fellow legislator.
Ms Lay made a statement in Parliament in the company of fellow MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi) and Johanna Ng’eno (Emurua-Dikir).
“He should be in custody now,” said Mr Keter, while Mr Ng’eno called on Mr Olomide to either leave the country voluntarily or be deported.
He said: “We will ensure that the concert does not take place.”
Olomide is expected to perform tonight at the Bomas of Kenya.
HISTORY OF BAD BEHAVIOUR
The 60-year-old singer, who has a history of violent behaviour, especially against women, kicked a member of his dance troupe, the Quartier Latin Band, after arriving from Kinshasa, DR Congo.
Despite the violent action, police did not arrest the musician popularly known as Grand Mopao or Mopao Mokonzi, and did not comment.
Band members said he overreacted after he was informed that the unidentified dancer had slapped singer Cindy, who is the band’s chief executive.
A court case over alleged harassment of dancers has prevented him from staging shows in Europe.
He also faces threats from radical anti-President Joseph Kabila activists, opposed to perceived pro-government Congolese musicians performing in Europe.
During a music tour of Europe, a dancer accused him of rape but he denied the charges.
A couple of years ago, he was almost jailed in Zimbabwe for beating a fan and in 2012, he was given a three-month suspended prison sentence for assaulting his producer, Diego Lubaki, over a debt.
Mr Olomide plays a kind of music known as “soukous”, in which dancers show aggressive erotic moves, and his music has been banned in some countries because of the raunchy performances.
The 60-year-old is one of Democratic Republic of Congo’s most prolific musicians, with a string of hits under his belt.
Mr Olomide who’s many nicknames and praise aliases range from the “Shakespeare of Zaire”, “Grand Mopao”, “Mokonzi”, “Tcha Tcho king”, “Nkolo Lupemba” to “Sarkozy”, after former French President Nicola Sarkozy, is reviving his fortunes and that of his band after years of decline.
Not so long ago, he added “Benedict XVI of the Congo” to his names — much to the chagrin of many Catholics in his country as the name was seen as an affront to Pope Benedict XVI , immediate former head of the Catholic Church.
Of late, Kenya has offered him a ground for his career revival. Early this year, he performed in the country after a 10-year hiatus. He promised two more shows this year.
He is also expected to release a music video, in which Kenyan socialite Corazon Kwamboka features as a video vixen.