By ALEX NDEGWA
The latest debacle involved the Statutes Law (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2012, which saw members sit into the night rewriting electoral laws to discard provisions they had passed last year.
A day later, forced by public outrage, embarrassed members reversed some of the offensive changes and only struck out entire sections on Thursday after the President vetoed them.
A review by The Standard On Saturday of parliamentary proceedings highlights some instances in which MPs have unapologetically made U-turns. Standing out for its absurdity MP Gideon Mbuvi’s spectacular flip-flopping during debate on a report about the depreciation of the shilling.
Contributing to debate in March on a recommendation indicting Central Bank of Kenya Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, Mbuvi tabled a report he alleged questioned the moneyman’s performance to buttress calls for him to quit.
Interjecting during a contribution by a colleague who defended the Governor, the maverick MP cited the agony that Kenyans had gone through adding: “Huyu Mbunge hayuko sawa kumsifu Gavana (my colleague is not in order to praise the Governor).”
“Kutokana na ripoti ambayo nimetoa tunamwomba huyu Gavana ajiuzulu kazi kwa sababu kazi imemshinda (based on this report, we ask the Governor to resign because he has failed),” said Mbuvi.
But shortly thereafter, Mbuvi voted for an amendment to expunge sections of the reports that adversely mentioned Prof Ndung’u.
Debate on a report of the House Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, which opposed the appointment of Mumo Matemu, Jane Onsongo and Irene Keino to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission exposed similar indecision.
Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa, a member of the committee, backed the recommendations to reject the nominees during debate on December 15.
“They are competent and people of high integrity,” Wamalwa said. “However, are they suitable for the job? They did not satisfy us.”
But on May 10, Wamalwa – as Justice minister – seconded a Motion to approve the same nominees.
“The purpose of this Motion is just to approve the names that we have put before this House so that we ensure that this country has a commission that can fight corruption,” said Wamalwa.
Government Whip Jakoyo Midiwo, too, had voted for the committee’s report opposing the nominees.
But Midiwo changed tune when the list was re-introduced in Parliament after the report was narrowly defeated 50-49.
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