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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 11 January 2015

Plot to have MP Wanga lose seat thickens

The fate of the Homa Bay women’s representative Gladys Wanga now hangs in the balance even as Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso maintains that she holds no grudge against her for splashing water on her during the chaotic debate on the controversial security Laws.
The matter has now taken a dramatic turn after it was officially reported for action. Wanga’s action could cut short her political career because if found guilty, she could lose her parliamentary seat.
Women MPs have now been sucked into the matter as they work in an effort to reconcile Laboso and Wanga. Last week, some women MPs from across the political divide were working behind the scenes to have the matter settled out of parliament but male MPs from Jubilee side have ganged and vowed to have Wanga face disciplinary action.
Apart from having her seat declared vacant, she can also be kicked out of the powerful Parliamentary Service Committee and any other committee where she is a member.
Other members of the PSC are Speaker Justin Muturi who is the chairman, Adan Keynan, Jimmy Angwenyi, David Musila and Sammy Leshore as members.
She is also a member of the Departmental Committee on Labour and Social Welfare as well as House Business Committee.
Although dozens of MPs threw punches, shouted, tore each other’s clothes and generally turned the House into a circus, it was the action of Wanga that is now being considered as disrespectful to the deputy speaker and hence push by Jubilee MPs to have her face disciplinary action. They now want Wanga discipline saying her conduct does not befit an officer of her status.
Wanga who has now sensed danger is said to have made frantic efforts to have the matter withdrawn and has allegedly asked for forgiveness and even sent emissaries to Laboso.
Although Laboso personally filed a complaint with the House Powers and Privileges Committee, sources say she did so under pressure from Jubilee MPs and that she is ready to forgive Wanga but pressure from Jubilee is likely to work against the withdrawal of the case.
Members of the Bomet county assembly demanded that Wanga immediately and unreservedly apologises to Laboso for splashing water on her.
Kipsonoi ward rep John Ngetich said Wanga’s stunt was disrespectful of the deputy speaker adding that she owes not just Laboso, but also Sotik residents an apology.
Sources also divulged that other MPs could suffer the same fate as Wanga should the PSC decide to take disciplinary measures against them.
It is now emerging that the country could be subjected to a number of unprecedented by-elections if the National Assembly applies the law to discipline members who caused or participated in the chaos that marred proceedings during the debate on the Security Laws Bill.
We have gathered that a team is currently working on a list of MPs who misbehaved during the chaotic debate and with the assistance of CCTV cameras, already a number of MPs have been identified as the team continues to review the CCTV camera images.
Sources say already six MPs from the Jubilee side and seven from Cord coalition who were captured either engaging in physical fights have been positively identified by help of the CCTV cameras.
The team is said to have forwarded the names and the evidence to the Committee on Powers and Privileges which is chaired by the Speaker for action. According to parliamentary procedures, the committee will hold hearings and prepare a report which will be tabled before the House for debate. It is after this that the Speaker will suspend the powers and privileges accorded to MPs as stipulated in the Act.
It is this committee which will then give the speaker authority to punish the MPs and according to Standing orders, the punishment includes suspending them for a period ranging between three and eight sittings.
The fear now is that should the Speaker find it necessary to suspend them for eight sittings then they will automatically lose their seats. Among those that have been positively identified from the Jubilee side through the CCTV cameras are Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Onesmus Muthomi (Chuka Igamba Ng’ombe), Alice Ng’ang’a (Thika Town), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), and David Kiuna (Molo).
On Cord side, those in the list are John Mbadi (Suba), Gladys Wanga, (Homa Bay), Millie Odhiambo (Mbita) Fred Outa (Nyando) among others. But there is also fear that MPs could also gang up to defeat the motion at the committee stage to save their colleagues from losing their seats.

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