Speaker Justin Muturi: I’m not preventing Uhuru

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President Uhuru Kenyatta chats with National Speaker Justin Muturi during a past event.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has refuted claims that he is fighting President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In a statement today Muturi said those peddling rumours that during an interview with The Standard he castigated Uhuru Jubilee party have an evil agenda to drive a wedge between them.

Muturi, in the interview, faulted the Jubilee Party for the purge of rebel lawmakers last year.

He termed the ouster of a section of legislators allied to the Deputy President William Ruto from House leadership and committees as “dictatorial”.

He said the purge for failure to toe the party line affected discharge of legislative mandate and infringed on the right of members to fair treatment.

“A party should write to the member and notify the Speaker, then give the member a chance to defend themselves. You don’t just wake up and say ‘we are throwing you out. You are out in the cold.’ That is dictatorship,” said Muturi.

Responding to what he termed as “choreographed narrative” that he was fighting President Kenyatta and which, in his view,  was a manifestation of mischief and an evil agenda to drive a wedge between him and the president, Muturi said he remained satisfied that Political Parties in the current Parliament, including Jubilee and ODM Parties followed the due process in the removal of Members from positions of leadership.

“I elucidated on the elaborate provisions in the Standing orders to support the removal of Members from positions of Leadership. I am a strong opponent of political Party dictatorship, which position I affirmed in the interview. However, in no way did I disown, or castigate the discharge of Members from leadership in the National Assembly in the current Parliament because I am satisfied that due process was followed,” Muturi said.

He said the current Standing Orders have cured the autocratic tendencies manifested in the past Parliaments by providing that Members are notified of the intended removal, those being removed are allowed the right to be heard, the speaker is notified of the intended removal and such removal and replacement must be approved by the whole house.

“For the avoidance of doubt, I remain satisfied that Political Parties in the current Parliament, including Jubilee and ODM Parties, followed the above due process in the discharge of Members from positions of leadership,” he said.

He added, “The now carefully choreographed narrative that I am fighting President Kenyatta is the result of mischief and an evil agenda to drive a wedge between us. This one among many narratives being peddled trying to portray a rift between the President and myself.”

The purge started in the Senate, where Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki was ousted as Deputy Speaker and replaced by Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar.

Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo/Marakwet) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru) were replaced by senators Samuel Poghisio (West Pokot) and Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a) as Majority Leader and Majority Whip respectively. Kang’ata was later kicked out and replaced by Kimani Wamatangi of Kiambu.

In the National Assembly, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale was ousted as the Majority Leader and replaced by his Kipipiri counterpart Amos Kimunya.

The Mumias East MP Bernard Washiali was replaced by Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe as Majority Whip and Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire was replaced by Igembe North MP Maoka Maore as Deputy Majority Whip.

Several lawmakers were also ejected as chairpersons of parliamentary committees.

The Jubilee Party extended the ‘clean up’ to six Nominated Senators. However, the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal annulled the expulsion of five, but upheld a decision to expel Isaac Mwaura. 

Raila Odinga’s ODM party also disciplined legislators perceived to be against the Building Bridges Initiative.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo was kicked out as the vice-chair of the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) less than a year after he assumed office.

Siaya Senator James Orengo also found himself under fire after his views on BBI differed from that of the majority in ODM.

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