Kenya: Parliament suspended business to discuss the Mpeketoni massacre Tuesday. MPs asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to sack Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and heads of security details in the country for failure in their duty.
In both houses, security management chiefs came under fire for their laxity in arresting the killings, which they termed as planned and well executed.
The legislators urged the President to sack ole Lenku, his Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, Director General of the National Intelligence Service Michael Gichangi and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, if they fail to take responsibility over the security lapse and resign.
“Time has come for the President to fire all those responsible of our security. As a leader in Jubilee, I must say that I am embarrassed at the conduct of the people we have put in charge of this docket,” said Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki.
He added: “If nobody is courageous enough to take responsibility and resign, we ask the President to sack them all. If none of this happens, we ask Parliament to investigate the suitability of these people to hold these offices and where possible force them out.”
Tempers were equally high in both houses as members of Jubilee accused their CORD colleagues of using their political rallies to incite Kenyans.
The Jubilee legislators particularly accused Cord leader Raila Odinga over the utterances he has allegedly been making in rallies, saying they were a recipe to chaos.
During heated debate, two CORD legislators, each from either House, were thrown out of the chamber after they were ruled to have violated the rules of debate.
At the Senate, Siaya Senator James Orengo was ordered out of the house after he appeared to challenge the order of the Speaker Ekwee Ethuro
At the National Assembly, Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo was also kicked out of the House for similar reasons.
Majority leaders in both Houses, Kindiki and his Assembly counterpart Aden Duale attracted criticism from CORD legislators after they accused Raila of issuing inflammatory statements.
“I am embarrassed at how some of us politicians are trying to scavenge on a national catastrophe for their political gain. We will not allow the former Prime Minister and a bunch of senators to go ahead issuing their inciting messages,” Kindiki said.
In the Assembly, Duale said: “In my opinion this is a massacre. It is mass murder. It is a massacre that has an ethnic, gender and age dimension. This is a crime against the people of Kenya.”
Orengo said the attacks must be treated as a criminal act, with those responsible arrested and prosecuted “irrespective of their status”.
“If the President says that this is political, let him come out with the names of those responsile,” said Orengo before he was kicked out of the House.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen termed those currently incharge of national security as “analogue security managers” who he said must be relieved off their duties.
“Kenyans no longer have faith in those manning security in this country and they must know this and take individual responsibility. I was waiting to hear the President say he had sacked the security chiefs but he has to wait for conclusive investigations,” said Murkomen.
Murkomen also castigated Cord leaders for what he said were inciting statements in rallies. “If you are of the age of a person like Raila, Wetang’ula and Kajwang, you should know appropriate language to employ in rallies where Kenyans are following proceedings,” he said.
Minority Leader in Senate Moses Wetang’ula said supported calls for the sacking of security chiefs led by ole Lenku, saying they had proved incapable of dealing with the insecurity challenges in the country.
“For months, I have been embarrassed watching Lenku issue statements that should least come from a leader. It is baffling that a bunch of murderers can attack a village for eight hours and there was no response from our security,” said Wetang’ula.
Cecily Mbarire (Runyenjes) claimed the killings were ethnically targeted. “Until we become honest with each other, this country is going to the dogs. Since when did terrorists differentiate among tribes? What happened in Mpeketoni was ethnic cleansing. It is not terrorism. As we unite, we must be honest with ourselves. Pretence and hypocrisy will not help this country. Careless statements must be stopped in their tracks at political rallies,” she told the House.
The issue of Kenya’s presence in Somalia also came up during the debate with some MPs calling for withdrawal of Kenyan troops from Somalia.
Isaac Mwaura (nominated) called for dialogue among political leaders in order to solve the insecurity problems facing the country
“This county is bigger than Raila Odinga. It is bigger than Uhuru Kenyatta. It is bigger than any of us. This county must take a different direction for the sake of the current and future generations,” he said.