, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 19 – Government Chief Whip Johnstone Muthama has denied reports that legislators drawn from PNU and their ODM allies were mulling a censure motion against House Speaker Kenneth Marende.
The Kangundo MP told reporters on Saturday that the MPs are however unhappy with Mr Marende\’s ruling declaring judicial nominations by President Mwai Kibaki, unconstitutional.
"I want to put the record straight that there was no one word in the PNU meeting that there could be a vote of no confidence to the speaker of the national assembly. If that was said, then it must have been out of that meeting but not in the one that I attended," he said. "The meeting that I attended dwelt on how to counter the ruling that was given by the Speaker."
He said they plan a motion in Parliament next Tuesday to challenge the \’biased\’ ruling.
"Kenyan have now seen that the Speaker is serving the party (ODM) that pushed him to take the seat that he currently holds in Parliament, this we cannot tolerate," he empahsised.
Mr Muthama also said they will take on the Speaker for making the ruling before the reports by the Justice and Legal Affairs committee and the Finance, Planning and Trade committees were debated in Parliament.
"The Speaker violated the standing orders when he delivered the ruling and that is what we are going to challenge,\’ he said.
He accused Mr Marende of permitting the ongoing political power tussles to play out in Parliament and basing his decision on partisan interests that are not in line with the provisions of the new constitution.
Mr Muthama described the actions of the Speaker as tantamount to misuse of powers bestowed upon him.
"He did not respect the standing orders of the House which he is a custodian of. We are going to question his violation of the Standing Orders which he is supposed to be a custodian of. I do not think there is anything wrong with asking him how come he directed the two committees to write a report which is not in the House," he stated.
"I do not think that it warrants that (censure motion) and as I said, it is all about democracy but this has been stretched too far."
But, speaking in Kisumu, two ODM legislators vowed to defend the controversial ruling.
Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch and his Gwasii counterpart John Mbadi said the Speaker acted within his constitutional mandate when he made the ruling last Thursday.
"Even those who are crying loudest know that the only way to unlock the impasse is to start the process afresh," Mr Mbadi said.
Addressing ODM youths, the two MPs said the Speaker\’s ruling was not meant to undermine or support any political party but was to help solve the impasse.