, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 – House Speaker Kenneth Marende on Friday dared members of the Legal Affairs Committee who are planning a censure motion against him and his deputy Farah Maalim to go ahead, saying he was prepared.
Marende, who is being accused of frustrating the committee’s functions, further defended himself from the accusations saying he had no role to play in the constitution of committees and therefore had no business interfering with their work.
He also maintained that he would continue being guided by the Constitution which requires him to remain non partisan while carrying out his responsibilities.
The outspoken Speaker further argued that his integrity and leadership had been tested before and that this would not be the first time.
“And if they say the Speaker has interfered, let them say how he has interfered because if I have indeed, I will just own up. But as far as I’m concerned I have not done anything I shouldn’t do and whatever I should do I have done and within the law,” he stressed.
Legal Affairs Committee members Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu) and his Githunguri counterpart Njoroge Baiya claim that they have presented the two Motions seeking to have the Speaker and his Deputy reprimanded.
And although Marende said that the two were at liberty to table the Motions, he argued that they must have clear objectives for doing so and follow the laid down procedure.
“A motion is a democratic right but it must be well intended and in this case we are looking for a solution that will end the stalemate that has persisted in the justice committee. We should all be looking for ways of settling the matter,” he cautioned.
He also warned the MPs against transacting parliamentary business through the media saying there were proper mechanisms through which to air such issues.
The chairman of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) Abdikadir Mohammed (Mandera Central) further challenged the legal Affairs team to work out the deadlock so that it can continue serving its purpose.
Mohammed, who sits on the Legal Affairs Committee, argued that the wrangles had gone on for too long and it was time to end them.
He noted that the issues facing the committee were more political than technical and thus required political commitment from the concerned political parties.
“Ultimately it is up to the political parties to rise to the occasion and look at the national interests because this is a very critical committee. We as the CIOC are doing quite a lot of the work that should be handled by the legal committee but we cannot substitute it,” he argued.
The legal Affairs committee started facing problems when MPs allied to the Party of National Unity together with two rebel MPs from the Orange Democratic Movement passed a vote of no confidence in their chairman Ababu Namwamba.
The ODM wing then withdrew its membership from the committee forcing the House Business Committee (HBC) to intervene.
The HBC then asked the two coalition parties to vote for new members and while the PNU selected six members, the ODM has been dilly dallying.
On Thursday October 27, the ODM party was given a new deadline and has up to November 1 to come up with a list of those it wants in the committee. If it fails to bring the list, Parliament will have to look into other alternatives.
The committee has in the past faced threats of disbandment but that will be an uphill task as it was part of the negotiations of the National Accord.
ODM MPs in the Committee are Namwamba, Ruto, Olago Aluoch (Kisumu Town West) and nominated MPs Sophia Abdi and Millie Odhiambo.
Meanwhile PNU MPs in the Committee are Baiya, who is also the committee’s Vice Chairman, Mohammed, Mutava Musyimi (Gachoka), Eugene Wamalwa (Saboti) and nominated MPs Amina Abdallah and George Nyamweya.