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Chaos in Parliament as MPs resume debate

Thursday December 18 2014

A screen shot of the National Assembly when

A screen shot of the National Assembly when chaos erupted during debate on security Bill on December 18, 2014. PHOTO | GRAPHICS 

AGGREY MUTAMBO
By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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CAROLINE WAFULA
By CAROLINE WAFULA
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JOHN NGIRACHU
By JOHN NGIRACHU
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HOUSE RESUMES DEBATE ON SECURITY BILL

Disorder in Parliament as most members throng the floor of the House as debate on Security Bill goes on.

16:48 - Chaos as House reverts to the Committee of the Whole House to debate the Security Laws Bill.

House approves the appointment of Gen Nkaissery as Interior CS.

16:10 - Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter stands on a point of order requesting the Speaker to ask the mover of the motion to respond.

16:00 - Minority Leader Francis Nyenze rises to support Gen Nkaissery's appointment.

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The House is now debating the nomination of Major Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery as the Cabinet secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government.

15:54 - Majority Leader Aden Duale takes the floor amid reduced noise in the House.

"Give us a window as leaders and we can talk and we agree or agree to disagree," says Sakaja.

15:49 - Mr Sakaja urges Jubilee colleagues to listen to the views from the opposition.

He urges the speaker to take action on members of both sides showing disrespect to the House.

15:48 - Nominated MP Johnson Sakaja takes the floor. He urges sobriety in the House.

Opposition members shouting "Duale must go."

15:41 - Majority Leader Aden Duale having hard time addressing the House. He asks for direction from the Speaker.

15:36 - Speaker reorganises House business to allow members to continue consulting.

15:34 - Speaker asks members to resume their seats. Apparently the Committee of the Whole House will have to adjourn for a while as the Speaker seeks to restore order.

15:30 - An hour after the afternoon sitting started, there has been no progress.

"Order, even as mapambano goes on," the Speaker implores.

15:23 - Speaker orders Suba MP John Mbadi out of the House after water is sprinkled on Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso and other clerks at the table.

15:20 - House moves to a committee of the whole House amid noise from opposition members.

Speaker says the House will be on recess until Monday, January 26, 2015.

15:11 - Speaker rules that the House is properly constituted. He rules that the motion to extend the sitting until the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill has been passed be removed from the Order Paper.

The National Assembly resumed its special sitting Thursday afternoon amid disagreements among members.
House Speaker Justin Muturi said that the House sitting is a special one and the business to be considered was only what was gazetted.

The National Assembly adjourned twice after chaos erupted during a debate on the security Bill on Thursday.

Speaker Justin Muturi adjourned the sitting for 30 minutes, but the disorder continued when MPs resumed at 11.35am.

The Speaker was forced to adjourn the House again and said the the sitting would resume at 2.30pm.

The mace was under heavy security guard and was taken out of the House through a back door.

Journalists were barred from the press gallery and live broadcasting of proceedings were discontinued.

There were reports that senators Boni Khalwale, Moses Wetang'ula, Johnson Muthama and James Orengo were assaulted as they were being ejected from the Speaker's gallery.

The MPs opposed to the Bill chanted and threw papers on the floor, disrupting the session.

Cord MPs protest outside the National Assembly

Cord MPs protest outside the National Assembly on December 18, 2014 over the controversial security Bill. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Asman Kamama, the chairman of the Administration and National Security Committee, had attempted to move amendments, but MPs opposed to the Bill started chanting “no way” and “bado mapambano”.

Speaker Muturi at one point ordered the serjeant-at-arms to eject some senators who were at his gallery.

“Serjeant-at-arms, I direct that members in the Speaker’s gallery be ejected forthwith.” He was referring to senators Khalwale, Wetang'ula and Orengo.

MPs had been recalled from their Christmas break to debate three issues: approve or disapprove the nominee for Cabinet secretary for the Interior Ministry Joseph Nkaissery; debate the final stage of the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2014; and approve or reject the four nominees to the CDF Board.

DEMANDS OVERRULED

When the session started, MPs from the opposition Coalition for Reform and Democracy (Cord) demanded that it be delayed to allow “us to familiarise ourselves” with the amendments in the Order Paper.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and his Ruaraka counterpart Tom Kajwang’ asked Speaker Muturi to give them more time to go through suggested changes to a number of laws related to national security.

However, they were overruled, with Mr Muturi insisting they should have read the laws long before they came to the floor of the House.

“Honourable Midiwo, I know you to be an experienced, diligent member of the House. Why are you not reading the Order Paper?” the Speaker posed.

The Speaker then ruled that the session move to the committee of the whole House, a period during debate when proposed amendments are voted on.

The chairperson of that committee, Joyce Laboso, had to shout six times to a number of opposition MPs to take their seats.

TIGHT SECURITY

The mace, the National Assembly’s symbol for power and whose absence on the floor crippled debates, was kept under tight security.

This is after some MPs tried to grab the mace last week when opposition lawmakers tried to stop the second reading of the Bill.

When Tiati MP Asman Kamama stood to propose the deletion of clause 2B of the Bill, he was shouted down by the opposition.

But Ms Laboso allowed the vote to continue, although the voices of supporters of the Bill was drowned out by the jeers from opposition MPs.

Speaker Muturi returned to try to normalise the situation but had to adjourn as the session became more chaotic.