11 June 2012

Kenya: Reopening of Chambers Postponed

THE official opening of the refurbished chamber of Parliament, which was scheduled for this morning, has been postponed until the burial of six Kenyans who died in the Sunday air crash, including two MPs.

Addressing the special gathering of the cabinet and MPs, Speaker Kenneth Marende said he had scheduled the ceremony for Thursday, but he was ruled out by MPs, who want the ceremony conducted after the burial of George Saitoti and Orwa Ojode.

However, the planned Speaker's Kamukunji relating to two constitutional bills pending in the House will proceed this morning as earlier scheduled. The kamukunji is meant to lobby MPs to pass the Public Finance Management Bill and County Governments Bill whose deadline for enactment is August 27. "It will proceed as earlier planned because it's not a ceremony, but a normal House business," Marende said. Marende said that during today's afternoon session the House will set aside time so that MPs can convey their condolences.

Speaking on behalf of MPs, Lands minister James Orengo said MPs are unanimous that the opening ceremony of the refurbished chamber be done after the burial of the two. "That has nothing to do with normal business of the House. We had agreed that the chamber be opened after the burial," Orengo said. Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka agreed.

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