November 19, 2018

Why NASA MPs walked out of Parliament

Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) on Wednesday (14/2/18) walked out of Parliament before a debate on the nine CS nominees appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The legislators allied to the National Super Alliance (NASA) rejected the nine Cabinet nominees stressing that they do not recognise Uhuru Kenyatta as President of the Republic of Kenya.

Last week, the MPs had announced that they would boycott the session as Jubilee Party lawmakers were already hell-bent on giving the nominees a greenlight which they did.

The Cabinet nominee names forwarded to the National Assembly included; John Munyes (Petroleum and Mining), Dr Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), Farida Karoney (Lands and Housing), Peter Munya (East African Community and the Northern Corridor Development) and Prof Margaret Kobia (Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs).

Others were former Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko (Environment and Forestry), Simon Chelugui (Water and Sanitation), Ukur Yatani (Labour and Social Services) and the embattled Richard Achesa (Sports and Culture).

In the first session between September and December, the 349 MPs received Sh650.4 million in salaries for attending House sittings in 19 days.

Each member of the bicameral House earned Sh621,250 monthly until the High Court temporarily stopped the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) from reviewing their salaries.

According to rules of Parliament, legislators who boycott parliamentary business can easily lose their seats if they miss eight sittings without the authority of speakers.

The standing orders (rules and regulations governing parliamentary business) require a member intending to be absent to seek written permission from the speaker.

If satisfied that a member failed to offer a satisfactory explanation, the committee shall then submit a report to the House for debate and ratification by MPs. The report shall not be subject to any amendments.

“At the conclusion of debate…….the speaker shall not put a question but shall declare that, pursuant to Article 103(1) (b) of the Constitution, the office of the member concerned has become vacant,” reads Standing Orders.

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