BY PETER OPIYO
Members of Parliament whose conduct displeases National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende will have their microphones cut off at the touch of a button.
No more will the Speaker have to shout himself hoarse to get the attention of the House with the famous words, “Order! Order!” thanks to a new technology in the new Chamber.
Once he overrules a member, the Speaker can disconnect the offending MP’s microphone from his chair. This will target those who breach House rules such as making unsubstantiated allegations or raising frivolous points of order. MPs who are digitally challenged might have it rough, as members must login to activate their microphones and address the House.
Such MPs will be dazzled by the sheer array of communication technology meant to usher them into the digital age, and make their work easier.
Those with computers or tablets like the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Pad or Kindle can access the Internet using the secure virtual private network and the provided logins.
Jumping to get the attention of the Speaker has also gone out the door, as MPs must now press a buzzer to his attention.
Details of the changes quickly became evident as excited MPs moved into their new home on Tuesday, a spanking new chamber that cost taxpayers a record Sh950 million.
The MPs have until January 14 when their terms expire to enjoy the ultramodern facilities furnished with very comfortable red leather seats that cost Sh70 million in total.
It is a major transition for the MPs as they change homes, moving from the Old Chamber they have been using for the last two years to their new home.
During the opening ceremony for the new chamber Tuesday, some MPs struggled to operate the communication system. Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was tickled and could be seen giggling as Chris Obure struggled to operate his microphone.