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ELECTION 2022

Speaker Muturi: I had no choice during chaotic debate

POLITICS
By Wilfred Ayaga | Jan 23rd 2015 | 2 min read

NAIROBI: Two weeks before the re-opening of the National Assembly, Speaker Justin Muturi has defended his conduct during the acrimonious debate that greeted the passage of the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 in December last year.

The Speaker said his role at the time was limited to presiding over the business of the day.

“I had no option but to conduct the business for which the House had been recalled and for which the members were drawing allowances. The members having agreed with the amendments that were to be introduced into the House during the committee stage, I had to take a single-handed decision on how the business would be conducted. If the MPs didn’t want to sit, they did not have to come,” he said.

Already, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has warned that more than 10 MPs could lose their seats if they are found to have violated the code of conduct of public officers. The matter is also likely to be referred to the House and Privileges Committee, which has the mandate to discipline errant MPs.

Thursday, Muturi defended the House against accusations that it was engaged in unconstitutional practices and challenged people dissatisfied with laws passed by the National Assembly to seek legal redress.

“I allow everybody to hold their own opinion. If there are laws that anybody feels need to be challenged, Article 165 of the Constitution allows that person to go to court. For people to sit idly and argue that laws that are taking the country back to dictatorship have been passed is not fair,” said the Speaker.

He however declined to discuss the details of any disciplinary measures against any members found to have misbehaved during proceedings to pass the Security Bill.

 DISCIPLINARY ACTION

“It would be presumptuous to talk of disciplining members at this time. Let the matter be handled by the relevant organs of the House,” he said.

Muturi was speaking on the sidelines of a meeting that brought together parliamentary clerks from the Commonwealth Parliament Association-Africa region. The conference under the umbrella of the Society of clerks-at-the Table is set to discuss, among other issues, continuous amendments of laws in a bid to keep up with the ever changing regional and national needs of governments.

“Globally, parliaments are continually evolving both in practice and tradition as the best possible system of governance shapes the destiny of respective countries. The ultimate goal for this transition is to entrench democracy that is acceptable to all and conforms to internationally acceptable norms,” Muturi told delegates.

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