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MPs hold private session on Al Shabaab onslaught

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Parliament was on Wednesday afternoon forced to go in camera to allow for private discussions on the volatile security situation between Kenya and Somalia.

The Motion which was moved by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale, was unanimously supported by the legislators on the grounds that the matter was too sensitive to be heard in public.

During the afternoon session, House Speaker Kenneth Marende told Khalwale to move the Motion within the guidelines laid in Standing Order 214.

Standing Order 214 requires that a member first moves a Motion that strangers be withdrawn from the House before the Speaker or chairperson can put the question forthwith. During this time no debate or adjournment can carry on until the matter is resolved.

“Member for Ikolomani, are you satisfied that you have done enough so that I proceed?” asked Marende.

Khalwale had tried earlier in the afternoon to have the session go into camera before the House Speaker finally gave him directions.

“Mr Speaker Sir, I move that all strangers be removed from the House,” Khalwale urged.

Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo had earlier asked for a statement from the Minister of State for Public Service regarding an interview by the suspended advisor of the Prime Minister, Miguna Miguna, to an international media house on October 17, touching on the security situation between Kenya and Somalia.

Kilonzo wants to know what action the government will take against Miguna, bearing in mind that he was still a public servant who continues drawing a government salary.

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“The pronouncements Mr Speaker were that the government of Kenya has violated Article 132 of the Constitution (4e) where no approval has been sought from Cabinet, Parliament or the African Union or the United Nations to invade Somalia,” explained Kilonzo.

Assistant Minister Public Service, Ahmed Sugow said he would issue a statement on the matter after making adequate consultations with his colleagues.

“We will issue a statement after adequate consultations with other ministries because the request by the member touches on national security,” he said.

(Video courtesy of Al Jazeera)


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