Inside Politics

Wetang’ula to rule on NA Majority today

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 06:00 | By
Azimio or Kenya Kwanza? Wetang'ula 'delays' verdict on majority coalition as stalemate persists
National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula. PHOTO/Courtesy

Speaker Moses Wetang’ula will this afternoon give a ruling on which coalition party will be the Majority side in the 13th Parliament.

Members of the two warring coalitions put spirited arguments to defend their positions over the constitutionality and legality of which coalition is the majority party.

And in turn of events, Wetang’ula dismissed a copy of a coalition agreement by Azimio La Umoja Secretary General Junet Mohammed as not admissible.

“I have gone through the document tabled by the Junet and found out that it is not admissible by the fact that it is not properly done. The document has some missing pages, deletions and no numbering,” Wetang’ula.

Attempts by Junet to challenge the ruling were dismissed by the Speaker who termed his position as informed by the content in the document.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungw’ah who has been nominated by the Kenya Kwanza coalition as its Majority leader, said Azimio could not claim the slot since it has no single member elected on its ticket.

Ichungw’ah told the House that the forced passage of the Political Parties Act in the 12th Parliament was to blame for the current debate over which coalition has the majority membership. “You passed a law that has come back to haunt you. As it stands Azimio has no single member in the National Assembly,” said the MP.

Ichung’wah noted that the fact that two different parties, ODM and Jubilee Party have set two different lists confirms that Azimio does not exist but individual parties.

It is my humble submission that you remember the debate that we had when we amended the political parties act, many of us here opposed these amendments including the creation of a coalition party, which was anchored on this. The chaos we are witnessing today emanated from the passage of this amendment, Mr Speaker calculating the number of who is the majority is very easy,” Ichung’wah said.

Parliamentary party

He added: “The question we need to answer is Azimio a coalition party or a coalition of political parties, also we need to take note that Jubilee has also communicated its leadership in the House, this clearly tells you that Azimio does not exist as a parliamentary party as it does not have members neither does it exist as a coalition party.” Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi who also has been picked as the Majority leader by the Azimio coalition said the Constitution requires that as it is interpreted it should be in a manner that promotes governance.

“Selective reading of the Constitution may not be helpful. The leader of the majority shall be a member of the party with the majority in the House which in the current case is the Azimio,” Wandayi said.

Demands by Garissa Township MP Aden Duale that Wandayi provides the coalition agreement, was declined.

According to Duale, the Azimio Coalition Agreement has remained a top secret with only three members, ODM, Jubilee and Wiper as the only one’s privy to the content.

Quoting a letter by the Registrar of Political Parties, Wandayi maintained Azimio with 26 political parties was validly registered as the majority party.

“The Speaker is required under Standing Order 19, to convey the message from the Registrar Political Parties as it is,” Wandayi explained.

Mugirango South MP Silvanus Osoro nominated as the majority Whip by Kenya Kwanza claimed that his coalition had 189 members as opposed to 154 for Azimio la Umoja. The Azimio La Umoja he further claimed coercion and intimidated parties to join and hence a nullity.

Suna East MP Junet Mohammed told parties leaving Azimio La Umoja that they cannot divorce before legally moving out of the first marriage.

Junet asked Wetangula to be guided by fidelity and the rule of law in making the ruling on the contentious matter.

 Duale said he warned his colleagues to be wary of the Political parties Act that they were passing they ignored.

He challenged the Azimio La Umoja members to quote the section in law that bars parties from exiting from a coalition.

Nominated MP John Mbadi said it was a complete misrepresentation of facts to claim that Azimio has no members in the House since they were all elected on individual party tickets.

David Ochieng (Ugenya) of MDG one of the parties that have decamped from Azimio coalition said one of the reason that made his party leave the coalition was the opaque manner in which the  coalition agreement was being handled.

Tiaty MP William Kamket pleaded with the Speaker to protect members of the parties seeking to leave the Azimio coalition from being forced to remain in an abusive marriage.

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