NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 20 – Leader of Majority in National Assembly Aden Duale and Machakos County Senator Johnstone Muthama have dismissed assertions by Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission chairman Mumo Matemu that he will investigate and take action against MPs who caused violence during Thursday’s National Assembly Special Sitting.
Muthama accused the chief of the anti-graft body of playing to the gallery by announcing he will be probing MPs conduct.
“Instead of dealing and staying with his duties of arresting the corrupt and those who are destroying the economy of this country, now he wants to investigate the heckling of MPs so that he can recommend or take them to court so that they can be stripped off their positions,” Muthama said.
“We have rules in Parliament; it is upon my Speaker (Ekwe Ethuro) to deal with me. It is upon the National Assembly Speaker to deal with Members of the National Assembly. What Matemu is trying to do is putting up a public show,” he said.
Duale had earlier claimed the move by the EACC would be infringing on Parliament’s independence citing that only Committee on Rules and Procedures which is chaired by the Speaker of the respective House, can punish its errant member.
“What happened on Thursday is not economic crime, what happened was not corruption, in fact if a complaint is raised by any of the members on assault or injury, it is the Director of Criminal Investigations or Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who will take it up,” he added.
“What Mumo Matemu said in my opinion is an infringement on the independence of Parliament.”
The EACC had announced that it had commenced investigations into the conduct of legislators who engaged in fist-fights and immoral conduct during debate of the controversial Security Laws (Amendment) Bill on Thursday.
The anti-corruption agency pointed out it will use it findings to institute the process of removal from office any Member of Parliament found to have conducted themselves in an unethical manner and breached tenets of leadership and integrity as in the Constitution
Meanwhile, Muthama is calling on the DPP to order the arrests of at least four Members of the National Assembly who assaulted him and four other opposition Senators during Thursday’s chaotic debate on the Security Laws Amendment Bill.
Senators Moses Wetang’ula, James Orengo, Johnstone Muthama and Janet Ongera were attacked by Jubilee MPs as they followed the proceeding from the public gallery.
Muthama, who is also the Minority Whip in the Senate, said they expect action to be taken after they recorded a statement at Parliament Police Station.
“We want the DPP to get action immediately, and have those who committed those crimes to be arrested so that Kenyans can see that there is no one who is above the law in this country,” said the Machakos Senator.
Muthama, who had his trouser torn as well as nursing scars on the chest and on his leg, said he positively identified the MPs.
“Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati MP) who was their leader, he is the one who was pulling my right leg, the other one was (Joseph) Kiuna (Njoro MP) who was pulling my left leg. Muthomi Njuki (Chuka-Igambang’ombe MP) was trying to grab my neck and I twice had to fight him off as he tried to grab my private parts. The last one was (James)Gakunya (Embakasi North MP) who was beating me from behind,” Muthama recounted.