Speaker Justin Muturi faces ouster over 'ridicule'
By Roselyne Obala and Wilfred Ayaga | March 20th 2015
The National Assembly will on Tuesday debate a censure motion against Speaker Justin Muturi.
Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba filed the motion, alleging the Speaker ridicules MPs while overseeing House proceedings. Though the move might not lead to a vote of no confidence, it might set in motion the process, depending on the issues to be canvassed on the floor of the House.
Surprisingly, members from both sides of the political divide welcomed the move, insisting that the Speaker has not handled them in a dignified manner as representatives of the public.
“Noting with concern that the Speaker of the National Assembly has and continues to degrade the character and ability of the Honourable members of this House through making of contemptuous, malicious and unfounded allegations against them,” reads part of the motion.
Musimba is particularly irked with the allegations, noting they have eroded the collective dignity, esteem and honour of legislators in and out of the House.
“Concerned that Muturi in so doing has failed in his constitutional duty to protect the dignity, honour and integrity of Parliament,” reads the motion.
It continues: “This House expresses its displeasure and disappointment in the conduct of the Speaker and censures him.
Muturi noted that Musimba, as directed on Wednesday, had complied with provisions of Standing Order 87.
“I direct that in keeping with practise, this motion will be the only business in the House for a period of not less than three hours on Tuesday next week,” said Muturi. But Asman Kamama (Tiaty) prevailed upon him to allow the matter to be debated yesterday. “Considering that this matter is so weighty in the House, would I be in order to ask that it be debated now so that we finish with it once and for all,” urged Kamama.
However, Muturi maintained: “We have considered this matter and demand that the mover be permitted a period of three days to prepare adequately.”
Majority Leader Aden Duale concurred with Muturi, saying the Standing Orders are explicit. “This will give some of us time to find reasons for the motion and the people behind everything. We need to give time to everybody, according to the Standing Orders,” he said. Duale was in agreement with Musimba’s motion, saying he has not committed any crime but done exactly what the law stipulates.
Muturi assured the MPs the motion would be in the Tuesday Order Paper.
“Musimba has proceeded correctly and I have satisfied myself that it is in order,” he affirmed.
This is the second time an MP has initiated this process to censure the Speaker over the running of House business.
Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem) had also initiated the process to introduce the motion, only that his plans were overtaken by events after the House leadership organised a retreat in Mombasa.
MPs, who spoke to the Standard in confidence expressed their disappointment with Muturi’s leadership style, accusing him of belittling members and portraying them as failures in the eyes of the public.
“Muturi is a Jubilee Speaker, but his actions have disgraced us. He moderates House business as the big boss and never wastes any opportunity to ridicule us in front of fellow members and the public as a whole,” said a Jubilee MP.
They vowed to back Musimba, saying they are fed up of being handled like second-class citizens.
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