Kenyan lawmakers approve controversial anti-terror bill amid brawls, chaotic scenes

New legislation gives authorities sweeping powers to crack down on terror suspects in a country that has faced a string of attacks.

KENYAN lawmakers on Thursday voted in favour of a tough anti-terror bill following a heated debate that sparked a brawl in parliament between opposition and pro-government MPs.

The new legislation gives authorities sweeping powers to crack down on terror suspects in a country that has faced a string of attacks by Islamist militants. 

“I’m not happy with the way the bill was adopted…. But I’m happy that it was approved,” said MP Johnson Sakaja.

The chaotic session saw lawmakers trade blows and the deputy speaker have water thrown on her while opposition legislators claimed Kenya was becoming a police state.

The debate was adjourned twice before the amendments were pushed through.

The government says it needs more powers to fight militant Islamists threatening Kenya’s security. 

There was heavy police presence around parliament after activists had called for protests to show their opposition to the bill.

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