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Emgwen MP Alex Kosgey summoned for skipping 60 sittings

By Titus Too and Rael Jelimo | Published Sun, August 17th 2014 at 00:00, Updated August 16th 2014 at 22:11 GMT +3

NAIROBI, KENYA: Emgwen MP Alex Kosgey could lose his seat should he fail to satisfactorily explain why he skipped a record 60 parliamentary sittings.

The first-term legislator, who has been ordered to appear before the Committee of Privileges of the National Assembly, is also accused of missing eight committee sessions.

The summoning of the URP legislator follows a notification petition to the National Assembly, which has been referred to the committee, which is expected to hear the petitioners and the legislator. Privileges Committee deputy chairman Ganze MP Peter Shehe confirmed to The Standard on Sunday that Kosgey had been ordered to appear before them

Residents’ petition

“The National Assembly Speaker was petitioned by a group of Emgwen residents and it was forwarded to our committee for review. We promise a fair hearing,” he said.

According to Article 103 (1) of the Constitution, “the office of an MP becomes vaccant when, (b) if, during any session of Parliament, the member is absent from eight sittings of the relevant House without permission, in writing, from the Speaker, and is unable to offer a satisfactory explanation for the absence to the relevant committee”.

The petition dated July 16, which raises concerns “in the matter of absenteeism and non-attendance of parliamentary sittings and failure to represent the people of Emgwen constituency,” was received on July 17.

According to the petition, the legislator missed 60 parliamentary sessions and eight committee sittings.

Last week, however, Kosgey had an opportunity to clear his record on the floor of the House, but still, he was not in to speak when called by the Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso.

The fear of losing seats for missing House sessions has now prompted some MPs to seek amendments to quash the constitutional obligation that compels them to seek the Speaker’s permission before skipping sessions. The legislators also want another requirement that forces them to explain their absence deleted, with Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo having already filed a memorandum to Speaker Justin Muturi.

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