Speaker Kingi to decide Senator Orwoba's house return fate on Wednesday

Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba and Senate Speaker Amason Kingi.

Senate Speaker Amason Kingi will rule on Wednesday whether Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba will be allowed back into the house after a Machakos Court quashed her suspension.

Orwoba was suspended from the house for six months after senators adopted a decision made by the powers and privileges committee.

The Speaker was supposed to make the ruling on Tuesday afternoon after Orwoba attended the session.

Several Senators addressed the house saying that the decisions of the entire house could not be injuncted by a Court or anybody else since it was an independent arm of government that could make its decisions.

Migori Senator Eddy Oketch said that there was a stranger in the house on seeing Orwoba seeking the guidance of the Speaker on whether she was rightly in the house describing as a lady.

“Indeed, the house plenary adopted the report of the Powers and Privileges Committee suspending Senator Gloria Orwoba from the house but she moved to the High Court in Machakos where she got preservative orders staying the decision made by the house, that is why she is here,” said Kingi.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said a motion needs to be moved to vacate the decision since the decision to suspend Orwoba was made by the entire house while the orders by the court were directed to the Speaker reminding him that it was not his decision but that of the entire Senate.

Khalwale wondered how Kingi could implement the court order without a motion to discuss the matter and rescind the earlier decision made by the whole house, asking the Speaker to clarify to whom the order was directed, congratulating Orwoba for her humility since the house suspended her.

“The decision to suspend Senator Gloria Orwoba was not the decision of the Speaker but that of the entire house, if the court purports to serve the Speaker with an order to rescind a decision of the plenary without it being vacated after a motion is moved to that effect, how possible is to implement it,” said Khalwale.

Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said that precedence had been set when former National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi made a ruling that parliament cannot be injuncted by a court of law or anybody else when the ODM Party attempted to de-whip Ugenya MP David Ochieng from sitting in Committees with some people moving to court.

Cherargei said that they are risking the exclusive jurisdiction of the house where individuals can move to court to challenge a petition or discussion in plenary or committees.

He asked the Speaker to put the matter to rest and clarify whether the court order was to the entire house or to the Speaker saying an injunction of the entire house has never happened before.

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi said that they are setting a wrong precedent where the house plenary and Committees risk being injuncted by Courts and that a decision that has been made by the whole house cannot be stopped by the judiciary since it is an independent arm of government.

“The integrity, supremacy and power of Parliament must be protected and the issue of punishment of members was not unique in this country and that it was disrespectful for a member to go and get orders and walk into the house as if nothing had happened,” said Osotsi.

Baringo Senator William Cheptumo said that the Senate is a house of order and that it was heard by Kenyans when the debate was ongoing and that he was glad that Kingi was a Lawyer and that he believed that he would make a sound decision that would set a precedent to be followed.

Cheptumo said that nobody should deny Senator Orwoba the benefit of seeking judicial justice but the matter and she should benefit from the legal system while Kenyans need to be told why she is coming back to the house the same way when it was communicated when she was suspended.

“This matter should be looked at keenly so as to set a precedent, when a similar matter happens tomorrow it can be handled well so, we have confidence in the leadership of the Speaker who is a legal mind and believe that he will come up with a wise decision,” said Cheptumo.

Tana River Senator Danson Mungatana called on the Speaker to come up with a well-reasoned ruling over the matter and on whether the High Court has the power of reverting the decision of the Senate so as to set a record on how similar matters will be handled in future.

Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo said that the decision to suspend Orwoba was made by the Senate and not the House Business Committee and asked the embattled Senator be asked to leave the house to give room for the discussion of the matter before a decision can be made.

Orwoba had moved to the High Court in Machakos challenging her suspension from parliament for six months with the Attorney General, Clerk of the Senate, Speaker of the Senate, the Senate Committee on Powers and Privileges and the Senate listed as the respondents in the matter.

The matter is set to be mentioned before Justice Rayola Olel at the Machakos High Court on October 25 this year for further directions.