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Citizen Weekly

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Without breaking a sweat, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi yesterday survived a censure motion sponsored by Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba after majority of members shot it down, terming it  ill-timed, malicious and aimed at injuring his reputation.
Some MPs who contributed to the debate further termed the motion by the first-time MP “a waste of time”, saying the matter could have been ably handled at a Speaker’s Kamukunji (informal meeting). Lagdera MP Mohamed Shidiye was blunt in his comments, describing the motion as “full of malice, callous and petty” and which did not deserve the time accorded.
Only three members, John Mbadi, (Suba), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and Silvanus Anami (Shinyalu) supported Musimba in his bid to have Muturi removed from office over alleged gross misconduct and disrespect to members. Musimba, while moving the motion, said Muturi’s utterances in the House were a recipe for chaos as they portrayed members as irresponsible and hence not worthy of holding office.
But it was Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South) who set the ball rolling in favour of Muturi when he said the 11th  Parliament has become a “laughing stock” for all manner of negative attributes dominating the airwaves. “Members have exhibited bad manners, heckling during serious matters of national importance. We have become a group of hecklers,” he told colleagues.
“What do you expect when you, an honourable member, go for a committee meeting, sign the attendance book and walk out?” asked Onyonka, Adding:   He added: “When you go to Mombasa let us only go the beach after concluding our business.” Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo) said members should brace themselves to stand by their action, saying they should not expect the Speaker not to cite them after they conduct themselves wrongly.
“If am a rapist, the Speaker will not hesitate to call me so, if am corrupt he will refer to me by what I man, why are some members protesting instead of changing their ways?” said Kamau. Ababu Namwamba, (Budalang’i) said the House was at a cross-roads in terms of fidelity and it was a high time members rose to the occasion to salvage their image.
“The events of December 18, last year, clearly attest to who we are. This motion gives us an opportunity to reflect our deeds. We must acknowledge that there is a problem,” Namwamba noted. He said members should see the December 18  chaos as an opportunity to change their ways of doing things. “I personally stand guilty as charged, what we did, portrayed us in bad taste and all of us should feel guilty and seek to mend our ways,” Namwamba added.
The embattled PAC chairman hailed Muturi’s move to commit the probe on his committee to the Powers and Privileges Committee as a bold one. Leader of Majority Aden Duale said the motion lacked substance and urged his colleagues to shoot it down and allow Parliament to debate only matters which were of interest to the people. “Effective leadership is not about making speeches but is defined by results and attributes,” Duale said of Muturi’s mode of operation.
Duale dismissed assertions that former speaker Kenneth Marende was the best speaker the country had, saying his so called ‘Solomonic’ rulings were a creation of the media. Minority deputy leader, Jakoyo Midiwo said Muturi had exhibited a grasp of standing orders.
Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga, defending the Speaker, said he could not have kept quiet on issues of integrity raised against a section of members.