, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 31 – It was anticipated that the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) would cause drama during the State of the Nation Address by President Uhuru Kenyatta, but it was not clear how they intended to execute their plan.
It all started by threats from a section of CORD legislators, that they were determined to keep their word; “to stop the Jubilee Government from holding a public relations gimmick.”
No sooner had President Kenyatta taken to the podium than deafening whistling engulfed the National Assembly chamber.
The end result? Eeight Opposition lawmakers were ejected from Parliament after they repeatedly disrupted President Kenyatta’s State of the Nation Address.
The legislators, who were led by ODM chairman John Mbadi, had placards with messages condemning the Jubilee Government.
“No more PR #SavetheCountry , Jubilee are thieves,” read some of the messages.
Every time President Kenyatta attempted to begin his speech, the MPs blew whistles sneaked into the chamber as the Head of State took everything in stride and laughed the drama away.
The move attracted mixed reactions from several legislators who spoke to Capital FM News, some condemning them while others tried to explain why they could have resorted to doing that.
For the ODM nominated Member of Parliament Isaac Mwaura, the incident by his counterparts was “dishonorable… it needs to be condemned in the strongest terms possible.”
“The President is the symbol of unity of this country and if you have any differing opinion, Parliament has seven days to discuss the President’s statement.”
The visibly irritated MP said that it was a clear indication that, “such individuals cannot govern this country. I want to strongly condemn (MP) TJ Kajwang, Gladys Wanga and their ilk.”
Kikuyu constituency Member of Parliament Kimani Inchung’wa said it was wrong, “to even imagine that you can stop a President of a whole republic, from carrying out what he is constitutionally mandated to do. It was despicable.”
Ichung’wa urged all leaders despite their political affiliation to respect the Constitution while expressing his sympathies to Ugunja Constituency MP Opiyo Wandayi, who was kicked out of the National Assembly for the entire session.
“It means he will only come back in February next year… it is very sad and lack of leadership,” he said.
Leader of Minority Jakoyo Midiwo though not approving the whistling said they were protesting against being, “told the obvious. There was nothing new there.”
“What can we take home from the statement?” The Gem MP queried.
To him, the MPs represent the feelings on the ground.
“That’s what is happening out there. It is the feeling of Kenyans. What do you expect Kenyans to do, when you leave them without any option?” he asked.
He said the President failed to address pertinent issues during his address like the territorial controversy revolving around Migingo Island.
National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale said the eight MPs embarrassed their constituents.
“Anybody who wants to lead this country must be ready to be led,” he said while applauding the “rest of CORD coalition, Wiper movement and FORD Kenya top leadership.”
TNA Chairman Johnson Sakaja said the legislators were not representing the Opposition since majority of them did not join them in the protest.
“There are better ways to express such discontent and not to disrupt a constitutional function,” he said.
Just like the tale of hyena and hare, where the two animals ‘agreed’ to kill their mothers but one failed, Sakaja related the misfortunes that befell Wandayi to the story.
“The hare didn’t kill…the rest of them did not go to that lane,” he said, before proceeding to prolonged laughter.
Kenyans on Twitter were not left out, as they raised their sentiments through #ShamelessCORDMPs thread on Twitter.
Here are some of the sentiments, as posted; Joseph Kamau @josembugus Do as you see fit I won’t blame Opposition MPs #ShamelessCORDMPs
gideon kirui @ItsLoftus Their hooliganism goes hand in hand with the kind of signatures they submitted for #OkoaKenya #ShamelessCORDMPs
Maganjo @Maganjo_kago #ShamelessCORDMPs if they don’t agree with the govt which is ok, at least respect the presidency.
Elder Man @MURUZY Such acts by #ShamelessCORDMPs is the reason why Cord will never win in 2017. They offer no solution
Bena ® @Bawse17 Raila & CORD were doing well with their relentless corruption campaign,then #OkoaKenya & #ShamelessCORDMPs happened!
Guru Don @Czla_Don Weak and childish opposition is the reason why Kenyans will still vote in the current absurd government. #ShamelessCORDMPs #SOTN2016
Bernard MW @I_am_bena @RailaOdinga you might have well-grounded issues and solutions for kenya but your support base will always haunt you #ShamelessCORDMPs
Kiplagat Kotut @DavidKotut We are still far away from a mature,tolerant democracy #ShamelessCORDMPs
duncan njau @duncannjau #shamelessCORDMPS just excuse these guys coz they r trying hard to impress their master for 2017 direct nomination.