MP Atandi forced to withdraw statement about Ruto during parliamentary proceeding

Alego Usonga Member of Parliament Samuel Atandi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Alego Usonga Member of Parliament (MP) Samuel Atandi was on Wednesday, March 15 forced to withdraw remarks he had made about President William Ruto during a parliamentary proceeding.

During his remarks on the floor of the House, Atandi, a member of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party, referred to President Ruto as a "temporary president".

The MPs were debating on homosexuality in Kenya, when Atandi termed Ruto a "temporary president".

"We want to urge the temporary president to be very firm (against homosexuality)," said Atandi.

"During this brief period that they are in power, they might mess us up and we could be the world's laughing stock," he added before Ugenya MP David Ochieng, who was the day's speaker, interjected.

"Honourable Atandi, you shall withdraw your statement claiming the president is a temporary head of state," said Ochieng.

Atandi withdrew his remarks in compliance with the speaker's order.

Earlier, the MP had engaged his colleague, Owen Baya (Kilifi North MP), in an exchange of words over the "status" of President Ruto's presidency.

"The fact that Ruto has been sworn into office does not mean that he will be there tomorrow as Head of State," Atandi told Baya, triggering a barrage of exchanges.

According to Atandi, the government was bending the laws on homosexuality in Kenya to gain financial support from developed countries that have okayed the practice.

"You know that the government is begging a lot of money from these people. If you beg from them, and they tell you to be soft on members of the LBTQ community so that they give you the funds, you'll definitely be soft on them," he said.

It was then that he repeatedly referred to President Ruto as a stopgap president, forcing the speaker to intervene.

The homosexuality debate had been initiated by Nyali MP Mohamed Ali, who said he will lobby his colleagues to reject any attempts of legalising gayism in the country.

"It is our responsibility as MPs to reject any foreign influence that risks corrupting our society," said Ali.

The lawmaker criticised the Supreme Court of Kenya's February 21 judgement that allowed homosexuals the right to associate and group.

"If we continue on the current path, Kenya risks losing future generations," added Ali.

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