7 December 2017

Kenya: Machakos MCAs Pass Motion to Establish People's Assembly

The Machakos County Assembly on Wednesday passed a motion to establish the People's Assembly.

The assembly becomes the 12th in the country pass the motion.

PRESSURED

Pressure had been mounting on the County Assembly to pass the motion with Majority Leader Francis Ngunga making a remark that it was "a matter of life and death" for him.

Yesterday, some MCAs told the Daily Nation that Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka was making phone calls from Germany asking members to ensure it was passed.

On Tuesday, the motion was postponed for the second time as members debated its legality following an order issued by the High Court in Kitui.

The notice of motion was brought before the House on November 9 but suspended as the mover, Mr Francis Ngunga, sought legal opinion on the court order.

On Tuesday, Mr Ngunga stood to move the motion but was cut short by member Moffat Maitha, who wanted to know whether he had sought the legal opinion as directed by the speaker.

LEGAL ADVICE

Mr Ngunga responded that he had sought opinion from the assembly's legal department and was assured that nothing barred MCAs from debating the motion.

He said the order was specific that the assembly should not implement or constitute the People's Assembly but passing the motion was in order.

"This house cannot be barred from debating motions. We are not constituting the People's Assembly. We are simply passing the motion," said Mr Ngunga.

He said he was dismayed that the office of the clerk had not furnished the assembly with the legal opinion.

LANGUAGE

Mr Ngunga claimed that some 'Jubilee Party moles' in the assembly were frustrating debate on the motion. He was, however, forced to withdraw the term 'mole' as it was not parliamentary language.

But some members opposed the debating of the motion, saying an assembly whose role was to pass laws could not disobey a court order.

Muthwani MCA George King'ori (Jubilee Party) received a warning from Speaker Florence Mwangangi when he said: "This house cannot be led by goons."

Ms Mwangangi dared him to repeat the remarks.

"What language did you use? I am going to take up the matter with you later," the Speaker told Mr King'ori.

Ms Mwangangi said the assembly would not curtail debate.

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