Lunch to mark Kibaki’s stay in Parliament held
Posted Tuesday, August 7 2012 at 23:30
- President is the longest serving MP and lawmakers trooped to the House, snubbing a memorial for bomb victims
A feast was held in Parliament on Tuesday in honour of President Kibaki, the oldest member of Parliament. It was also a lunch to celebrate the inauguration of Parliament’s new debating chambers.
The five-star meal was served by the prestigious Safari Park Hotel.
But there was something awfully wrong about the date on which the MPs chose to have a fete: the date. It was August 7, the 14th anniversary of the 1998 bombing in Nairobi, in which over 200 Kenyans died and over 3,000 injured.
As relatives of the dead and those who survived the attack marked the day in solitude, their leaders had a ball in Parliament and even forgot to have that “moment of silence” to show respect for those who died 14 years ago.
President Kibaki and Speaker Kenneth Marende presided over the ceremony, but apparently forgot that anniversary, when Kenya first felt the wrath of Al Qaeda terror group.
MPs too failed to notify the Speaker of the importance of the day, because, those who were there, were pre-occupied to have their names mentioned because of the role they played in giving the debating chambers a facelift.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga was also an invited guest in the event, but he was in the Speaker’s gallery, meaning that all he could do –assuming he had problems with the protocol- was just wait.
Granted, Parliament had planned for the inauguration of the new chambers many days back—they actually hoped to do so in mid-June, but the chopper crash in which a minister and his assistant were killed led to its postponement.
Then the President went to London, and the MPs were getting jittery, so, they had to open the new chambers as soon as possible.
They were tired of sitting on “benches”.
Delays marked the ceremony. The function was supposed to start at 10.00 am and dignitaries and MPs were seated by that time.
But it was not until an hour later that the President got into the chamber.
Women MPs in Parliament caused a spectacle after the inauguration. Their problem was that none of them had been allowed to speak.
The last time the President came late (it was a meeting of MPs with the Executive) Lands Minister James Orengo was not amused. And he told him as much.
Those who attended the event complained that they had left their offices to come and attend a State function but could not do it on time.
“Our work stopped. But the President, the country’s VIP came in late,” he said.
Those who spoke were Mr Nicholas Gumbo, the chairman of the House Broadcasting Committee; Dr Chris Obure, he’s the minister of public works; Mr James Orengo, who represented the Prime Minister; Speaker Kenneth Marende; and President Kibaki.
Mr Adan Keynan, the Vice chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission gave a vote of thanks.