House drama, Uhuru's legitimacy issue to continue

Tuesday December 26 2017


Suba South MP John Mbadi at Parliament Buildings on October 19, 2017. He said he does not recognise President Uhuru Kenyatta's presidency. PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Members of Parliament have formed committees and elected their leaders, but for Mr John Mbadi, the Minority Leader in the National Assembly, the 12th Parliament is yet to operate smoothly.

Not much work has been done since August 31 when the current Parliament was established and MPs sworn into office.

Only two bills have been passed — the controversial Election Laws (Amendment) Bill and the corrective County Allocation of Revenue (Amendment) Bill.

Only last month did things start moving, with the opposition National Super Alliance finally participating in House activities.

The MPs chose their leaders and named members to all but one of the committees.

This lack of progress can be attributed to annulment of the August presidential election and the 60-day wait for the repeat poll on October 26.

After that, there was the legal duel at the Supreme Court.

As Nasa maintains that President Uhuru Kenyatta is not legally in office, Mr Mbadi says that is the reason not much will be done.

“What is happening in Parliament is largely affected by operations from the Executive,” Mr Mbadi said.

The Suba South MP said the opposition would not recognise the legitimacy of President Kenyatta as, according him, there was no election on October 26.

Already, Mr Mbadi has been punished for saying in the House on December 14 that Kenya has no sitting President.

Speaker Justin Muturi asked him to withdraw the remark, but he refused and was ordered to leave for the rest of the sitting.

Mr Mbadi says he does not regret the remark, adding that given an opportunity, he would utter it again.

“I cannot withdraw what is obvious and known by the majority of Kenyans,” he said.

Nyando MP Jared Okelo, who threatened to resign if Mr Odinga is not sworn in as the “People’s President”, said there would be a lot of friction in Parliament in 2018 as some Kenyans are apprehensive of Mr Kenyatta’s presidency.

But issues before Parliament will be debated and passed, based on merit, depending on which side of the coalition the matter will benefit.

“It is still early to predict how things will be in the 12th Parliament. But I foresee a lot of friction between Jubilee and opposition lawmakers, as has been seen in the past four months,” Mr Okelo said.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo predicted a House full of drama for the entire five years.

“Nasa will continue resisting anything from Jubilee, which could use its numerical strength to pass laws,” Mr Amollo said.

Jubilee and its affiliate parties have 213 seats out of 349 in the National Assembly and 38 senators out of 67.

Previously, it had 167 in the Assembly and 30 in the Senate.

Among the areas the opposition’s resistance will be visible is the vetting of President Kenyatta’s nominees to the Cabinet.

Mr Mbadi has refused to name opposition MPs to the Committee on Appointments, saying that his side of the House is of the view that the appointing authority of the Cabinet is absent.