On August 2, 2014, the Nation published an opinion piece by lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi that, five years later, reads like a mirror prophecy. It was just over a year after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee coalition team had taken office for his first term and the country was full of optimism.
In the opinion piece titled “With Muturi as speaker, Kenya is doomed”, Mr Abdullahi, who has acted as the President lawyer in a number of occasions including one challenging his election a year earlier, argued that the country’s problems would start and end with having his professional colleague Justin Bedan Njoka Muturi as the head of the Legislative arm of the government.
He contended that his client’s rule would be messed by the choice of the speaker of the National Assembly.
In just about 12 months, he argued, Muturi had become the face of impunity with his “tenure as Speaker being a calamitous and sacrilegious defilement of the Constitution”.
He had, Mr Abdullahi said, “in a mere 12 months, reduced the august House into a smouldering rubble of parliamentary tomfoolery. In a single year, he has made Parliament a rogue institution unaccountable to anyone.”
The President’s lawyer warned his client and the country that Mr Muturi presented the deadliest enemy to the wellbeing of the nation, worse than the Opposition, Judiciary, civil society and even hostile foreign governments.
Five years down the line, even the most optimistic Kenyan and believer in the goodness of man cannot afford to question the aptness of Mr Abdullahi’s description of Mr Muturi.
There is, however, one aspect of the Speaker’s lethal flaws that we were not warned of but which is clearly going to sink the nation if not tamed as soon as possible, greed.
During his reign, the Speaker has led his House on a plunder trip of the nation on a magnitude never seen before.
It must be noted that it is only on matters of self-enrichment at the citizen’s cost that all the 349 members of the National Assembly seem to agree.
It’s always a unanimous vote whenever the “motion” of making more money from the taxpayer is brought before the floor of Parliament.
The pack that Mr Muturi leads is a gluttonous lot that will surely drain us all, no doubt. But it is the defence of that gluttony that the Speaker keeps giving to the public that really makes Abdullahi’s spite of him sound saintly.
It is utterly insensitive for a man who leads a house of people’s representative to attempt to justify the continued increase, in millions of shillings, of MPs pay will motivate them to attend sessions of Parliament more regularly in a country where more than half the population lives on less than a hundred shillings a day.
It is just like the argument another member, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, who postulated on national television that he sees no problem when he and his colleagues consume less than 20 percent of the national budget! Where on earth can any leader think like that?
In less than a year, Mr Muturi’s Parliament is working to increase money paid to MPs from Sh1 million to Sh2.9million, including some absurd allowances.
The President should have heeded his lawyer’s advice and saved us this massive robbery. As it is, the people might just be forced to find a way to stop these looters from exterminating the nation, including physically chasing them out of the House!
Mr Cherambos comments on topical issues. [email protected]