Tempers flare as MPs clash ahead of special sitting on parties’ law

However, a raft of amendments by 14 other MPs was not discussed after the walkout and also after some of the proponents failed to show up for the meeting.

“How do we entertain amendments by members who refused to cooperate with the committee in total defiance of the directive of the Speaker that the committee invites stakeholders?” Suna East MP Junet Mohamed asked.

“It is the Speaker who said other stakeholders including the registrar of political parties can be invited,” he added.

Kigano backed his sentiments saying the clerk advertised the meeting, letters were sent out to members “only for them to come with flimsy reasons.”

“It was flimsy for members to refuse to execute their cause just because there were non-parliamentarians. It means they had no substance. I am grateful that other members refused the machinations,” the Kangema MP said.

Nominated MP Jennifer Shamallah said, “The recommendation of the JLAC is that the amendments should not be considered.”

Rabai MP Kamoti Mwamkale said matters that were not prosecuted by the committee during the Tuesday sitting should be ignored.

Junet added, “This committee was constituted properly. The Speaker directed that we sit. The committee has no alternative but to reject the amendments.”

JLAC vice chair Tom Kajwang said there was no right for members to introduce amendments at the floor of the House.

“What is there is that a member may propose amendments to the Speaker who may approve. The approval is what leads to harmonisation which we are doing today. If the members walk out, we have no business entertaining such.”

“We will ensure the amendments by those who walked out will not be in the order paper. There is no such thing as rights when a member has decided to walk out of a harmonisation process,” Kajwang’ said.

Gichugu MP Robert Gichimu said, “We have gone through the amendments that were before us. It is those that we will give our recommendations.”

But Narok Woman Rep Soipan Tuya called for fairness “in as much as the committee in its report can only recommend based on matters subjected to harmonisation.”

“Harmonisation does not give committee right to cancel what other members have proposed. The rights of those who walked out cannot be taken away,” she said.

Tharaka MP Gitonga Murugara, also UDA-leaning, said, “We must act within the fairness of the law. We can note the members walked away as we have no law supporting us to drop their proposals.”

His sentiments were supported by Bureti MP Japhet Mutai who said, “Those members had their reasons. It is not the right of this committee to reject their amendments.”

“Of the 80 political parties, none of these have been invited to this forum. All main players were missing. Standing Order 131 does not stop members from proposing amendments,” Duale said.

Homa Bay MP Peter Kaluma said Standing Order 131 will be rendered a nullity if the rulings of the Speaker are ignored.

“Parliament having facilitated members to come, and their amendments received, and with clerk’s communication member cannot be entertained by the House on those amendments.”

“We must not allow any abuse of the process of Parliament. We will make a decision that these members cannot be heard on the floor and we must take up the matter with the Speaker,” Kaluma said.

Mukurweini MP Antony Kiai weighed in that the “order by the Speaker was meant to make House’s work easy. Those who had issues were given a chance but walked out. They gave up their right to advocate this issue.”

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