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Economy

Parliament in chaos as MPs disrupt security Bill debate

The National Assembly adjourned for half an hour after chaos, instead of discussions on the proposed security Bill, reined its special sitting on Thursday morning. The MPs opposed to the Bill chanted and threw papers on the floor disrupting the session.

Mr Asman Kamama, the chair 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 Justin Muturi at one point ordered the Sergeant-At-Arms to eject some senators who were at his gallery.

“Sergeant-At-Arms, I direct that members in the Speaker’s Gallery be ejected forthwith.” He was referring to Senators Boni Khalwale, Moses Wetangula and James Orengo

CORD

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MPs had been recalled from their Christmas break to debate two issues; approve or disapprove the nominee for Cabinet Secretary for the Interior Ministry Joseph Nkaissery as well as debate the final stage of amendments contained in the Security Amendments Bill (2014).

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 the Speaker Justin Muturi to “give us 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 moves to the Committee of the whole House, a period during debate when proposed amendments are voted on. The Chair of that Committee, Joyce Laboso had to shout six times to a number of opposition MPs to take their seats.

Tight security

The mace, a National Assembly’s symbol for power and whose absence on the floor crippled debates, was under tight security. This is after some MPs tried to grab the mace last week when opposition legislators 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 but the voice of the supporters was drowned by the jeers from the opposition.

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

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