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Citizen Weekly

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


NAIROBI: Senate proceedings were momentarily disrupted because of disorder during a session that saw Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale thrown out, prompting a mass walk out by Opposition MPs. The ugly scenes that have previously been witnessed in the National Assembly yesterday rocked the Senate as members resorted to bitter exchanges. The senators disregarded their own Standing Orders, which bar two members from being on their feet at the same time, turning the proceedings into a shouting match between Jubilee and CORD members. Trouble began during debate on the National Drought Management Authority Bill when Minority Leader Moses Wetang'ula claimed the Devolution ministry was an unnecessary organ being used by the Jubilee administration as a conduit for funds siphoned for political campaigns. Mr Wetang'ula alleged much of the Sh68 billion channelled to the ministry was being used by the Jubilee leadership for campaigns. “With devolution, we do not need a Ministry of Devolution,” argued Wetang'ula. See also: MCAs' 'dubious' stipends to be recovered His sentiments angered Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki, who demanded that Wetang'ula should table evidence to back the claims or withdraw the statement and apologise. But Wetang'ula stood his ground, and supported by Khalwale and other CORD senators, insisted the claims were obvious. Jubilee senators Kindiki, Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Billow Kerrow (Mandera) and Majority Whip Beatrice Elachi challenged temporary Speaker Peter Mositet to order Wetang'ula to substantiate his claims. “Some members are starting to engage in what could be dangerously disorderly ways,” said Kiraitu. Nominated Senator Martha Wangari said Wetang'ula must adhere to the ruling to substantiate his claims. Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen attracted the wrath of the Opposition members when he said Wetang'ula, having been named several times in past corruption scandals, should not be the first to engage in mob-lynching.
At this point, the House degenerated into a shouting contest, with Mositet appearing overwhelmed by the disorderly members, even as he reminded them it was against the Standing Orders for them to speak without being allowed to. In the ensuing exchanges and as the Speaker moved to restore order, Khalwale was thrown out of the House after he called Jubilee senators thieves. As he walked out, his CORD colleagues stormed out in solidarity. Debate on the bill proceeded without the Opposition senators.