, NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 19 – Ugunja MP James Wandayi is now free to resume attending parliamentary sittings after the Speaker lifted a four-month ban imposed on him.
The MP was barred from Parliament’s precincts after he led Opposition MPs in disrupting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address by persistently blowing whistles.
Acting on the recommendations of the House Privileges Committee, Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso ordered that the first term MP should be allowed to attend House and Committee sittings.
“Following that recommendation of the Committee of Privileges to lift the suspension, the Honourable Wandayi is hereby admitted to the House and all its committees and his privileges as an MP are reinstated. This matter is therefore closed in as far as the suspension is concerned,” ordered the Deputy Speaker.
Speaker Justin Muturi referred the matter to the Privileges Committee two weeks ago after High Court Justice George Odunga temporarily suspended his March 31 directive that barred Wandayi from Parliament until February.
“We considered that he had actually been punished sufficiently and therefore we recommended that the Speaker consider lifting the suspension,” said Moses Cheboi who chaired the House disciplinary committee.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga led MPs over the weekend who threatened to disrupt Thursday’s Parliamentary proceedings if Speaker Muturi failed to revoke Wandayi’s suspension from the House.
Muturi maintained that Wandayi shall serve his suspension fully and was therefore denied access to Parliament.
He argued that the Judiciary, Parliament and the Executive were independent Arms of Government adding that the courts had no authority interfering with parliamentary business.
Wandayi had last week moved back to court where seeking begin contempt of court proceedings against Muturi for disobeying a court order after he refused to admit him back.
CORD and over 1,000 residents from Ugunja had sued to challenge his suspension from attending parliamentary sessions for the rest of the current session by Speaker Justin Muturi.
The residents claim the decision to suspend the MP denies Ugunja constituents representation.
They want the court to declare Standing Order No. 111 of the National Assembly as well Wandayi’s suspension unlawful.