A National Assembly powerful committee has reprimanded Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and his Starehe counterpart Charles Njagua for public scuffle in parliament.
The Powers and Privileges committee and chaired by the Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi wants the duo to publicly apologize on the floor of the House for conducting themselves in a manner that reflected adversely on the dignity and integrity of the National Assembly and its Members.
In its report tabled yesterday, the Justin Muturi led committee also established that the two youthful lawmakers actions were a breach of privilege and punishable in accordance with Section 41 of the Leadership and Integrity Act and Section 17(3) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act.
“The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, 2017, orders the Hon Paul Ongili Owino and Hon Charles Kanyi Njagua to apologize to the House and the Members for conducting themselves in a manner that reflected adversely on the dignity and integrity of the National Assembly and its Members,” reads the report.
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The committee also observed that the two Members engaged in a scuffle in public and full glare of the media at the Parliament Media Centre, hence subjecting the dignity and integrity of the House and its Members to public opprobrium.
In arriving at the decision, the committee reviewed the video clip submitted by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the contents and prayers of the Petition by Bernard Momanyi, the evidence in the report by Parliament Security and Safety Department as well as the oral evidence adduced by Owino, Njagua and, Deputy Chief of Security and Safety Department Maj Rtd Kirungu Majiba.
The Committee’s inquiry was focused on making a determination as to whether the claims made by the EACC and Mr Momanyi on alleged unethical conduct by Owino and Njagua Kanyi did constitute breach of privilege, hence warranting the sanctions prescribed in section 17(3) of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act.
The Petitioner, Mr Momanyi, sought that the Committee finds that the Babu Owino contravened Chapter Six of the Constitution and recommends the vacates the seat of Member of Parliament pursuant to Article 103(1)(c) of the Constitution.
In his defense before the Committee, Owino submitted that the Njagua had trailed him to the Media Centre without his knowledge and when the two encountered each other at the Media Centre, they had a verbal exchange.
He added that what ensued was an altercation and not a physical scuffle as alleged by the EACC and the Petitioner, Mr Momanyi.
In his defense before the committee, Njagua submitted that that he never intended to cause a scuffle with Owino but had stormed the media House to stop him from holding a press conference.
He also told the committee that his action was spurred by fears that the Owino, being from the National Super Alliance (NASA) Coalition, might have intended to use the press conference to make disparaging remarks about President Uhuru Kenyatta, since the NASA Coalition had not yet recognized the Presidency.
Njagua told the committee that he highly regretted the scuffle that occurred between him and Owino and that he had reconciled with the Owino and that the two were even engaged in joint businesses.
The petitioner Mr Momanyi was invited to appear before the Committee on July 4, 2018 to make submissions on the alleged unethical conduct of Owino but despite numerous attempts by the secretariat the Petitioner could not be reached.
“The Committee deemed him to have forfeited the right to be heard on the matter and resolved to proceed to conclude and prepare a report on the Petition,” reads the report.