Kenneth Otiato Marende’s ruling on Tuesday has offered a glimmer of hope for despairing Kenyans. In less than one hour, the Speaker of the National Assembly managed to do what his 222 juniors in the House could never have imagined. He restored Kenyans’ confidence in the leadership.
Many of the readers who have posted their comments on our story have likened Mr Marende to the Biblical Solomon.
I particularly love the view expressed by Kiragu Nduati who says “when two kids fight over a piece of ugali, you take it and eat it so that next time they learn to behave.”
This is not exactly what Mr Marende has done, but he wisely decided to pull the institution of Parliament away from the grandstanding being exhibited by Mr Mwai Kibaki, Mr Raila Odinga and their lieutenants. Now, Parliament is free to transact its business, unless of course, the government decides not to present any Bills for debate – and that is unlikely.
In his ruling over the tussle over Leader of Government Business, the Speaker stressed that Parliament would be unwise to ignore the fact that Kenya has a very fragile caretaker government. He reminded the country that this coalition was created to silence the guns that threatened to tear us apart.
He said the National Accord and Reconciliation Act was crafted partly to entrench the negotiated agreements as well as to chaperone the two sides until the next elections which would, ideally, be conducted under new laws and structures.
By refusing to be drawn into the brawl between the two principals, Mr Marende has given Kenya a break – albeit temporarily – from a self-destruction path.
That is why in Mr Marende Kenyans see hope.
And of course the sycophantic comedians in Parliament picked the cue. While contributing to debate on the Motion to adopt nominees to the House Business Committee, Members of Parliament “hailed the Speaker for showing leadership, displaying wisdom, unifying the country, taking us forward, representing God himself” and all other manner of endearments.
Lest you forget, these are the same MPs who over the weekend declared that the Speaker should rule in their parties’ favour, failure to which Parliament should be dissolved and fresh elections called.
So, when the same leaders stand in Parliament and want the Hansard to show that they welcomed Mr Marende’s ruling, it leaves a sour taste in any Kenyan’s mouth.
What our MPs should do instead, is learn from this ruling. They should realise that political posturing is not good for this country. They should heed the cry of Kenyans that we all want a peaceful country and leaders who dedicate themselves to addressing the real issues that would guide this nation forward.
Mr Marende, God bless you.
Honourable Members of Parliament, God save your souls.