Senate Speaker Amason Kingi will make a ruling today on whether Nominated Senator Gloria Orwoba will be allowed back to the House after the High Court in Machakos suspended her suspension from Parliament for six months.
This follows Orwoba's decision to attend the afternoon session Tuesday amidst protests from a section of senators who argued that the verdict of the entire House cannot be injuncted by a court or anybody else since it was an independent arm of government that can make its decisions.
Migori Senator Eddy Oketch alerted members that there was a stranger in the House after seeing the Nominated Senator and sought guidance of the Speaker alluding that she was seated next to Kirinyaga Senator James Murango and whether she was rightly in the House further describing her to be 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.
Dr Khalwale wondered how Kingi can implement the court order without a motion to discuss the matter and rescind the earlier decision made by the whole House and asked the Speaker to clarify to whom the court order was directed.
He congratulated Orwoba for her humility since her suspension from the House.
“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 argued that a precedence was set when former National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi ruled 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.
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 asking the Speaker to put the matter to rest and clarify whether the court order was to the entire House or to the Speaker insisting that an injunction of the entire House has never happened.
Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi warned that they are setting a wrong precedent where the House plenary and committees risk being injuncted by courts and 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 that 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 has happened,” said Osotsi.
Tana River Senator Danson Mungatana called on the Speaker to come up with a well-reasoned ruling on the matter and whether the High Court has the power to quash 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 Nominated Senator to leave the House to give room for the discussion of the matter before a decision can be made.
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Orwoba moved to the High Court in Machakos to challenge her suspension from Parliament for six months.
The matter will be mentioned before Justice Rayola Olel on October 25 for further directions.