NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 13 – National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi says the House will not be held hostage from transacting business by the Opposition.
As the 12th Parliament officially convened on Wednesday to discuss the first order of business of proposed names to the powerful House Business Committee, the Opposition requested for the process to be halted, a plea which was quickly rubbished by Muturi who accused the minority coalition of laziness.
Muturi who was responding to a Point of Order by ODM Chairman and Suba South Member of Parliament John Mbadi – who questioned the legality in Majority Leader Aden Duale’s presentation of a partial list of nominees to sit in the House Business Committee (HBC) – said he will not bow to the Opposition’s demand.
“This House under my watch will not be held hostage by members or parties that are exhibiting indolence,” said Muturi.
On Tuesday, Duale told journalists that he will be seeking the approval from legislators of four names proposed by the majority coalition.
The Jubilee Party proposed Kipipiri MP and former Finance Minister Amos Kimunya, Kitutu Masaba MP Shadrack John Mose, Meru County Woman Representative Kawira Mwangaza and Turkana County Woman Representative Joyce Akai Emanikor to be members of the committee.
As Jubilee Party presented its list of preferred nominees, it was evident from the onset that the Opposition did not have theirs.
Mbadi and his Kiminini counterpart, Chris Wamalwa argued that the minority coalition should be given time to deliberate and submit their preferred list of nominees.
“The minority side should be given time to engage with its members on its preferred members for the committee.
“Tradition has it that we have always had a full Hose Business Committee approved by this House, therefore it would be wrong for the House business to commence before we table our list,” said Mbadi.
The Opposition lawmakers made their case that they were going to discuss about their list of preferred nominees in their parliamentary group meeting which was scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning and assured Speaker Muturi that they will return with their list during the afternoon session.
“We have a PG Meeting today and some of the issues that we will be discussing is regarding the House leadership, the House committees and certainly the House Business Committee will be part of the agenda,” said Mbadi.
Jubilee MPs led by Duale, Cecily Mbarire, Joshua Kutuny and Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali said the House cannot be derailed any further by the confusion in NASA.
The House was expected to sit in the afternoon to approve the names from submitted by the minority side.
The House Business Committee is appointed within seven days on assembly of a new House and is charged with the responsibility to prepare and adjust the parliamentary calendar with the approval of the House.
The committee which is chaired by the Speaker also takes decisions and issues directives and guidelines to prioritize or postpone any business of the House, acting with the concurrence of the Leader of the Majority Party or the Leader of the Minority Party.
The chairperson and at least one third of the other members of the House Business Committee shall form a quorum.