, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 18 – The controversial Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 has been passed amid chaos and drama that marked its debate.
Some of the proposed amendments were deleted, with some being amended.
Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi was forced to chair the committee stage after the members’ shouting seemingly overpowered Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso’s voice.
At one point one of the CORD legislators even hurled a book at Muturi forcing orderlies to shield the Speaker.
Soon after, Jubilee MPs joined in to form a human shield around Muturi and the committee chairs as they read out the proposed amendments to clauses.
This also seemed to be a strategy to allow Muturi to quickly peruse through the amendments which totalled 147.
Three committee chairpersons, Tiaty MP Asman Kamama, Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkong’a and Tetu MP Ndung’u Githinji moved the amendments as they were hurriedly proposed by Speaker Muturi with Jubilee legislators in choruses responding in ‘ayes’.
The Bill now awaits the President’s approval.
Already, CORD Senators have threatened to move to court to oppose the manner in which the Bill was bulldozed further calling for the resignation of the National Assembly Speaker.
“We want the Senate recalled and hope we will sit on Tuesday. the civil society out there and ourselves will go to court to challenge the bill for being unconstitutional in content and unprocedural in the manner it was brought through,” stated Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula.
“We want Kenyans to know that behind closed doors Justin Muturi has visited unprecedented shame to this country and unprecedented shame to the institution of Parliament and he has no business being the Speaker.”
“I want to appeal to the president, as the focus shifts to him, the country will be waiting to see if he assents to a bill that has been passed unprocedurally. I appeal to him to bring to the senate where we will shoot down, I can guarantee you we have a super majority from both sides to do so,” Kakamega County Senator Khalwale said.
“Where in the world have you seen the Speaker transacting business of the House while being surrounded by parliamentary orderlies and Jubilee Coalition MPs such that you can’t even see him. Yet they claim this is a legislation that is supposed to serve Kenyans,” added Machakos County Senator Johnson Muthama who was earlier assaulted by Jubilee Coalition MPs.
Speaker of the Senate Ekwee Ethuro confirmed that Wetangula has written to him about recalling the Senate, but he has not responded to the call yet because the Bill has not been forwarded to the Senate for consideration.