MPs take indefinite break

March 2, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – Parliament has adjourned its sittings for an indefinite period.

While moving the Motion of adjournment on Wednesday the deputy leader of government business Amos Kimunya told the House that MPs needed to go back to the grassroots to ascertain the needs of their constituents.

The MPs were recalled early in January to pass two crucial Bills on reforming the Judiciary and the one on the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution.

"It\’s time we went to our constituencies and got fresh mandates from our people. It\’s time we went to review what is happening with our CDF projects," he said.

The current heightened political temperatures dominated debate in the House as legislators chided senior politicians for their public spats. Backbenchers accused the Executive of embarrassing the State for fighting in public.

While seconding the Motion, Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo called on the two Principals to take time and bring order in the Cabinet to end current sparring between ministers.

"People are tired of witnessing wars in the Cabinet. We don\’t want ministers insulting each other in public. We want ministers who are united," said the MP.

Youth Affairs Assistant Minister Kabando wa Kabando said: "We have turned caucusing into political circus. And this is likely to become a carcass on the graveyard of political field."

Garsen MP Danson Mungatana urged President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister to reduce the friction between the two offices.

"I appeal that during this recess they (President and PM) meet so often.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga urged the parliamentarians to keep their eyes on the vision of reforms and the full implementation of the constitution.

"I keep on praying and telling this House that they have been given a good opportunity to transit this country from the mediocrities of the past which has condemned this country for over forty years to underdevelopment," he said.

Resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons, drought and security topped the list of needs the legislators want the government to address.

"We have talked about IDPs for the last three years and some questions linger.  Whose people are these?" posed Tetu MP F.T. Nyammo.

Nominated MP Millie Odhiambo urged the government to "use this time to remember people of Northern Kenya who are dying of hunger."

"The Minister of Internal Security needs to go round the country find out what is happening with insecurity," said Marakwet East MP Margaret Kamar.

Turkana Central MP Ekwe Ethuro accused the Executive of wasting government money to campaign instead of taking care of urgent needs like resettling internally Displaced persons and drought.

"This government needs to demonstrate to the country its importance. Let us use the remaining one and half years to deliver the promises," said Mr Ethuro.

However to enhance the fight on insecurity, Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode urged political leaders to "support the police in order to weed out the robbers."

"We will not maintain law and order with our demeaning utterances, with insults," the Internal Security assistant minister said.

Defence Assistant Minister Joseph Nkaissery assured that the State had mobilised its security forces to protect the border of the Kenya and Somalia.

"I want to assure this House that we don\’t have foreign troops in this country. One of the duties I will do is to go to Mandera (to enforce security.)

Coast MPs used the Motion to warn the government against its plans to privatise the port of Mombasa. Likoni legislator Masudi Mwahima vowed that the people of Coast province would not allow the government to privatise the port.

"Hata tuchinjwe port haiuzwi… port haiuzwi! (even if we are butchered the port will not be sold),"said Mr Mwahima.

Mr Mungatana added that the coastal people would not allow the sale o the port as it is the single most important source of livelihood in the area.

"This thing is not a simple matter. This thing is not a joke. You cannot take a national heritage and mortgage it," said Mr Mungatana.

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