House business stalls yet again

November 24, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 – Parliament was forced to adjourn its sitting early on Wednesday morning, due to lack of quorum for the second time in less than a week.

The House only sat for 45 minutes.

Parliament has two sittings on Wednesdays with the morning session beginning at 9am until 12.30pm while the afternoon sitting commences at 2.30pm and ends at 6.30pm.

Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim was forced to drop the two Motions appearing on the morning Order Paper due to the absence of MPs who had listed them.

"Honourable members, it’s very unfortunate that this action has to be taken now as Motions cannot be moved by any other person apart from the sponsor.  Under the circumstances it\’s sad that the business of the House has to be adjourned this early, it\’s a bad specter," said Mr Maalim.

Igembe North MP Ntoitha M\’Mithiaru’s Motion wanted the House to direct the government to take concrete measures towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and report its implementation status and challenges if any, including remedies within the next six months and at such regular intervals thereafter.

It was directed at the Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030.

"I have no option but to drop this Motion but incase honorable M\’Mithiaru is in a position to explain his absence, the chair will not hesitate to reinstate it," the Deputy Speaker said.

Marakwet West MP Boaz Kaino\’s Motion, on the hand, had listed a Motion for the Government to establish two Water Services Boards in the North Rift in order to take services closer to the people.

Last Wednesday, Temporary Deputy Speaker Gitobu Imanyara adjourned the morning session of Parliament after a record 10 minutes due to the absence of Members of Parliament who had listed questions.

According to the National Assembly Standing Order 36 which governs the Order of Business the Speaker may drop a Motion as a means of disciplining a member who authored it and is not present in the chamber when it is called out.  The member will then be forced to seek another chance to have the Motion re-listed but will not be given precedence over other MPs.

"Business shall be disposed of in the sequence in which it appears in the Order Paper or in such other sequence as the Speaker may, for the convenience of the House direct," reads Standing Order 36 (2).

Speaker Kenneth Marende has in the past dismissed the claim of traffic jams as a reason for failing to appear in Parliament in time, saying that it was the responsibility of a member to ensure he or she is in the House especially since the Order Paper is posted on Parliament\’s website 24 hours before the sitting of the House.

The Wednesday morning sitting is usually reserved for Private Members Bills as opposed to the other sittings where Parliament transacts government businesses.

During the Private Members days, MPs are allowed to introduce Private Bills which are intended to affect or benefit a particular person, association or corporate body.


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