Despite drawing millions of shillings in salary and allowances, 10 MPs have never spoken on the floor of Parliament, according to Hansard reports.
In a new report that focuses on the period between September 2017 and December 2018, 45 MPs made less than 10 contributions in the plenary despite each one of them having drawn at least Sh16 million in salaries and allowances over that period. Some of the MPs are seldom seen in Parliament, so much that orderlies often harass them, mistaking them for strangers.
The “silent” MPs are Justus Kizito (ODM, Shinyalu), Oscar Sudi (Jubilee, Kapsaret) James Wamacukuru (Jubilee, Kabete), Alfred Sambu (ANC, Webuye East), Joshua Adama (ODM, Nyakach), Samuel Arama (Jubilee, Nakuru West), Alex Kosgey (Jubilee, Emgwen) and Charles Kamuren (Jubilee, Baringo South). However, Mr Kamuren came late into Parliament after he was elected in a by-election conducted on August 2018.
Five Woman Representatives have also never uttered a word on the floor of the House. These are Anab Mohamed (Garissa), Lilian Tomitom (West Pokot), Irene Kasalu (Kitui), Jane Wanjuki (Embu) and Jane Chebaibai (Elgeyo Marakwet).
Other poor contributors are Safia Sheikh (Marsabit), Amina Hassan (Mandera), Lydia Mizighi (Taita Taveta), Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira) and Mombasa’s Asha Mohamed who have spoken less than eight times.
MPs who had spoken only five times during the period are Gabriel Mukuha (Githunguri), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South) and Annie Wanjiku (Gatundu North). Samuel Kinuthia (Subukia), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Patrick Kimani (Thika Town) and Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani) made only four contributions.
Beatrice Kones (Bomet East), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Abdi Mude (Lafey), Charles Gimose (Vihiga) and James Lusweti (Kabuchai) have spoken three times while Lemanken Aramat (Narok East), Mathias Nyamabe (Kuria East), Daniel Wanyama (Webuye West), Lokiru Ali (Turkana East) and Ken Okoth (Kibra) only rose twice to speak.
Mr Okoth has been unwell and away in hospital for the better part of the 12th Parliament. Makadara’s George Aladwa and James Mwangi of Tetu have only made one statement on the floor.
Senators who rarely speak:
In the Senate, Lamu’s Anwar Loitiptip, Philip Mpaayei (Kajiado), Prengei Victor (nominated), Falhada Dekow (nominated), Christine Gona (nominated), Millicent Omanga (nominated), Mercy Chebeni (nominated), Abdullahi Ibrahim (Wajir), Issa Juma Boy (Kwale) and Gideon Moi (Baringo) rank last in the number of times that they have articulated issues in the House.
“Some of these silent MPs in the House are the most vocal politicians outside,” Caroline Gaita, the Executive Director for Mzalendo Trust, told the Sunday Nation. Mzalendo Trust, which operates the website www.mzalendo.com, is a parliamentary monitoring organisation that has been releasing a scorecard highlighting the performance of MPs since 2014.
According to the organisation’s first scorecard for the 12th Parliament, “ten Members of the National Assembly did not speak at all by December 2018, 96 spoke less than 20 times while three spoke less than 20 times in the Senate. Of the 47 women representatives, 15 also spoke less than 20 times while five did not speak at all.”
Best performing MPs
The report also analysed the MPs who contributed most in parliament. The best performers were Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Joseph Limo (Kipkelion East), Robert Pukose (Endebess), David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East), Chrisantus Wamalwa (Kiminini), James Nyikal (Seme) and TJ Kajwang' of Ruaraka.
Save for Mr Nyikal and Mr Kajwang, the rest hold leadership posts in the various House committees. The other top 15 performers are William Cheptumo (Baringo North), David Pkosing (Pokot South), Millie Odhiambo (Suba South), Paul Koinange (Kiambaa), Benson Makali (Kitui Central), William Kipkemoi (Marakwet West) and Funyula’s Wilberforce Oundo Mudenyo.
Most active youth MPs
According to the report, the best performing young MPs are Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and Kimilili’s Didmus Barasa. The women’s side has Naisula Lesuuda (Samburu West), Catherine Waruguru (Laikipia), Martha Wangari (Gilgil) and Fatuma Gedi (Wajir).
Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege is ranked as the most active followed by Gladys Boss Shollei (Uasin Gishu), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Ruweida Obo (Lamu), Janet Teyiaa (Kajiado), Rehema Dida (Isiolo), Christine Oduor (Siaya), Janet Ong’era (Kisii), Tecla Chebet (Nandi) and Faith Wairimu (Nyandarua).
Most active senators
In the senate, Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja is rated as the top contributor followed by Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma), Ledama Olekina (Narok), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Ephraim Maina (Nyeri), Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay), Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) and Kitui’s Enoch Wambua.
The best performing nominated senators are Abshiro Halake (Kanu), Mary Seneta (Jubilee), Getrude Musuruve (ODM), Farhiya Ali (Jubilee), Agnes Zani (ODM), Isaac Mwaura (Jubilee), Naomi Waqo (Jubilee), Naomi Shiyonga (ODM), Alice Chepkorir (Jubilee) and ANC’s Petronila Were.
Nominated leaders a let-down
Despite being nominated to serve various special interest groups, a number of the nominated legislators have done little to push for their agenda.
The nominated MPs who have made meagre contributions are Nasri Sahal, who was nominated by Ford Kenya to represent marginalised communities and has only spoken twice in the plenary, Jubilee’s Halima Yussuf who was nominated to represent workers and Jubilee’s Gideon Keter, who has only spoken 16 times in the House. Mr Keter was nominated to serve youth interests.
In the Senate, nominated senators who have performed underwhelmingly in making contributions are Victor Prengei, Falhada Dekow and Christine Zawadi, all from Jubilee Party. Ms Zawadi is said to have caused a stir in the Senate when she rose to contribute to a motion this month.
“David Sankok, Jacqueline Oduol and Godfrey Osotsi top the list of the most active nominated MPs at the National Assembly, with Abshiro Halake, Mary Yiane Seneta and Gertrude Musuve Inama leading at the Senate,” the report says.
Best performing MPs per county
An analysis of the data according to counties shows that representatives from Embu, Lamu, Nyamira, Isiolo and Bomet cumulatively spoke the least while on the other hand, MPs from Trans Nzoia, Nairobi, Kisumu and Kakamega counties topped the list of the most active in parliamentary sessions.
The best performing MPs per county are Ndindi Nyoro (Murang’a), Sophia Noor (Garissa), Sara Korere (Laikipia), Omboko Milemba (Vihiga), Millie Odhiambo (Homa Bay), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kiambu), Joseph Limo (Kericho), Robert Pukose ( Trans Nzoia), David Gikaria (Nakuru), James Nyikal (Kisumu), Eric Muchangi (Embu), TJ Kajwang (Nairobi), Emmanuel Wangwe (Kakamega), William Cheptumo (Baringo) and Didmus Barasa (Bungoma).
Others are Robert Mbui (Machakos), Cyprian Iringo (Meru), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Josphat Wachira (Kirinyaga), Jimmy Angwenyi (Kisii), Kanini Kega (Nyeri), Owen Baya (Kilifi), Ali Wario (Tana River), Khatib Mwashetani (Kwale), Gitonga Murugara (Tharaka Nithi), Hassan Oda (Isiolo) and Chachu Ganya (Marsabit).
There is also Lodepe Nakara (Turkana), Naomi Shaban (Taita Taveta), Katoo Ole-Metito (Kajiado), Julius Melly (Nandi), Ahmed Ibrahim (Wajir), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mombasa), Kiprotich Tonui (Bomet), Musa Lentoimanga (Samburu), Moitalel ole Kenta (Narok), Swarup Mishra (Uasin Gishu), Vincent Kemosi (Nyamira) and Shariff Athman (Lamu).
Others are David Pkosing (West Pokot), Junet Mohamed (Migori), Benson Makali (Kitui), William Kisang (Elgeyo Marakwet), Wilberforce Oundo (Busia), Daniel Maanzo (Makueni) and Adan Haji (Mandera) and Amos Kimunya (Nyandarua).
House leaders performance
Ms Gaita says that in the ranking of the MPs, legislators who serve in various House leadership roles are excluded as they get more chances to speak courtesy of their roles.
Among them are Majority Leader Aden Duale, Leader of Minority John Mbadi, Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali and Majority Deputy Whip Cecily Mbarire.
In the national assembly, members of the Speaker’s panel include Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi, Luanda MP Christopher Omulele, Laikipia West MP Patrick Kariuki, Narok MP Soipan Tuya and Kibwezi East MP Jesca Mbalu.
In the Senate, they are Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen, Leader of Minority James Orengo, Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Junior, Majority Whip Susan Kihika, Deputy Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata and Deputy Minority Whip Beatrice Kwamboka.
Other senators who get higher chances to contribute because of their positions include those who sit in the Speaker’s panel namely Rose Nyamunga, Kithure Kindiki, Judy Pareno and Steve Lelegwe.
However, some of those in various House leadership positions have helped to articulate a variety of issues that go beyond the duties that they hold.
Top Senate contributors
In the Senate, top contributors include Mutula Kilonzo Junior, Ms Kwamboka and Mr Kang’ata.
Mr Kang’ata, a consummate contributor in the House, must be smiling after the passing of the Ward Equitable Development Bill, which will see Members of County Assemblies receive budgetary allocations to initiate development projects.
Mr Kilonzo has come up with various bills including the county boundaries bill and a bill on disaster and risk management, co-sponsored with Senator Sakaja. Ms Kwamboka supported the motion on the role of school administration on teen pregnancies and establishment of a rehabilitation fund for street families.
In the national assembly, some of the most vocal House leaders include Ms Mbarire, Mr Mbadi and Junet Mohamed.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said the trend was shameful: “It is so sad that some MPs have never made attempts to speak in the House. They should know that they were elected or nominated to represent their constituents and push for their interests in parliament.”