Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) Wednesday hardened its position on the legitimacy of Parliament with an announcement that its members will not participate in House committees dominated by ‘computer generated’ leaders.
The announcement came in the wake of an announcement that the ruling Jubilee Party had tabled and approved its members to the powerful House Business Committee (HBC).
Nasa’s position is seen to question the legitimacy of Parliament itself, but only after its members were officially sworn in to enable them enjoy the privileges that accrue to the legislators.
Nasa also refused to present names of nominees to various parliamentary committees that perform much of the legislation work in the House.
“Our MPs will not be part of committees because the House is not legally constituted,” Moses Wetangula, a Nasa co-principal, said after a parliamentary group meeting.
On Wednesday, Nasa MPs immediately walked out of the National Assembly chamber after Speaker Justin Muturi ruled that he would not allow the House to be held to ransom and directed that lawmakers proceed to debate and approve the appointment of Jubilee MPs to the committee.
The list of Jubilee MPs nominated to the powerful committee includes Amos Kimunya (Kipipiri), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Kawira Mwangaza (Meru Woman Representative) and Joyce Emanikor (Turkana Woman Representative). House business adjourned thereafter.
“Members were sworn in on August 30 and we expected parties to have nominated their representatives to House leadership by now,” Mr Muturi said.
The four Jubilee nominees join Majority Leader Aden Duale, Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali and Mr Muturi as members of the HBC.
The Speaker is the chairman of the committee. Nasa is required to nominate three members to the committee. Mr Duale and Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny dismissed Nasa’s position, arguing that Jubilee has the numbers to transact House business.
“They cannot hold us back. If they have not agreed on their lists that is their problem,” Mr Duale said.
Nasa MPs John Mbadi (Suba) and Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini) unsuccessfully pushed for adjournment of debate on the appointment of HBC members, saying the coalition had planned a parliamentary group meeting to decide on the names.
“The committee cannot transact any business until we bring our members so that it can be properly constituted,” said Mr Mbadi Nasa said it will not provide any names for Minority Leader, Deputy Minority Leader, Minority Chief Whip and Deputy Minority Whip in line with its decision not to lend legitimacy to the House whose legitimacy is in question.
“We have deferred the decision to a later date. We are insisting that we don’t want to give legitimacy to Parliament that was inaugurated by President Uhuru Kenyatta without our participation,” a member who attended the Nasa Parliamentary Group meeting said.