November 23rd 2017

Top Stories / National

Parliament resumes amid Speakers' fury over NASA parliamentary absence

Mbadi (of ODM) was to be deputised by Lugari MP Ayub Savula of Amani National Congress (ANC). Kathiani MP Robert Mbui (Wiper) and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa would serve as Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip respectively.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comTuesday, 07 Nov 2017 16:02 EAT

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka.

The bicameral Parliament resumed sitting at 2.30pm this afternoon after a month’s break and opposition legislators in the National Super Alliance (NASA) were expected to continue their boycott, only making technical appearances in the chambers.

NASA has not even submitted a list of names of members to occupy positions of the House Leadership in both Houses of Parliament (Senate and National Assembly) to speakers Ken Lusaka and Justin Muturi respectively. 

The NASA leadership has not agreed on the distribution of positions of the House leadership in both Houses of Parliament and sources within the opposition confirmed today that the NASA secretariat has requested for more time before submitting the list. Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has decried the absence of NASA parliamentary leadership which he said was hampering debates.

A list that had been forwarded was withdrawn and left only that of Suba MP John Mbadi as the Minority Leader in the House, but Speaker Justin Muturi rejected it, saying the procedure had not been followed in appointing him to the position. 

Mbadi (of ODM) was to be deputised by Lugari MP Ayub Savula of Amani National Congress (ANC). Kathiani MP Robert Mbui (Wiper) and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa would serve as Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip respectively.

In the Senate, Ford Kenya Leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula was earmarked to retain his seat of Minority Leader and be deputized by Siaya Senator James Orengo (ODM). Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr was to take the position of Minority Whip and be deputized by Petronila Were, an ANC nominated senator.

NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga who supported the withdrawal of the list is facing a tough balancing act of appeasing his loyalists while at the same time ensuring all affiliate parties in NASA get a piece of the limited positions. 

Coast MPs had first raised concern over allegedly being sidelined and even threatened to ditch the opposition if not considered. Msambweni’s Suleiman Dor led 15 MPs protesting that they have been sidelined and disrespected by the alliance and threatened to “source for an alternative political camp”.

“This has revealed that the support we have given the alliance was in vain. We will seek a place where we will be recognised so we can work effectively for our people. We should be rewarded for our hard work,” he said at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

The leaders had said that Raila had hinted that the minority leadership would be announced after the fresh presidential poll, which has however not been submitted to the two speakers. “We reject the decision they have taken as leaders of NASA. We are not being respected and involved. We should have been involved as leaders so as to come up with a balanced lineup,” Dori said.

Other leaders struggling for the few positions include Kajiado Central MP Elijah Memusi who also has the support of Mr Odinga as he is the only MP elected on an ODM ticket from the Maa community.

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