When noise marked the amount of work done by a senator
By Brian Otieno
| June 21st 2020
After seven years of push-and-pull, senators finally settled the supremacy battle between them and their National Assembly colleagues.
On Tuesday, as they plotted the future of impeached Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, it was clear that Senate was, indeed, the ‘upper House,’ at least when it comes to noise-making.
From the rowdy proceedings, the senators seemed keen to give taxpayers value for their money by so dramatically seeking to prove that they were working.
If the amount of work done by a senator is measured by noise, then our 'honourable' men and women at Senate did not disappoint.
One after the other, they put their lungs to work, each eager to lay claim to the trophy for the loudest mheshimiwa, much to the delight of wananchi following the proceedings from home.
Howls of “point of order” rang from all corners of the chamber. These were not necessary, considering the impeccable order with which the waheshimiwa were conducting their affairs.
From the racket they made, it was evident that nothing would break their resolve to prove that they were worthy of every cent they receive at the end of every month.
What a delight it was to hear Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kang’ata affirm that many had turned up for the sole purpose of honouring the heckling match.
“We need to consider some members who came specifically for this motion,” he said, pleading with the Speaker to grant priority to some members in the shouting contest.
Then Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala rose to deliver the punchline, saying that Senate would not be bossed around by residents of Kirinyaga.
Earlier, some tangatanga senators had made spirited attempts to ruin the show by claiming that a number of their counterparts were breaking social distancing rules.
Granted, they were only safeguarding their interests in a game that demanded as many people on either corner as possible, but telling on their colleagues was an obvious show of poor sportsmanship.
Surely they should have known that any contest deserved a packed arena and that noise-making was far more important than their well-being.
Moreover, coronavirus cannot be transmitted through close contact in Senate, can it?
The ‘spoiler of the year’ award, however, goes to Speaker Ken Lusaka who decided that the matter at hand would not be decided by acclamation because the waheshimiwa in holding areas outside would have been disadvantaged.
Having dutifully paid their taxes in full, it was only fair that wananchi would get their money’s worth.
On second thought, Lusaka was not much of a spoiler. If he had not been courteous enough to allow the county watchdogs to test their exorcism capabilities, many talents would have gone undiscovered. A toast to the defender of public interest!
If there had been any question on which House, between the National Assembly and Senate, nested the brightest of Parliament’s brains, events of Tuesday left no doubt.
Certainly, to pull off the kind of noise the handful of senators made requires raw wits, which are never in short supply at the upper house.
Imagine what they could achieve if they were half as many as those in the ‘lower House’ given their immaculate performance.
But perhaps the two Houses should make time for a shouting duel to pay homage to their employers who have no better use for their taxes.
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