Azimio now opts to await tribunal on Senate shuffle

Wednesday, March 1st, 2023 05:55 | By
The Isiolo senator claimed she was being condemned without being heard contrary to the principles of natural justice.
Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo. Photo/PD/File

Azimio la Umoja’s push to alter its leadership in the Senate will now take longer after it opted to wait for the court’s decision stopping the changes.

Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) has written to Speaker Amason Kingi asking him not to effect the changes, pending the hearing and determination of the case.

Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), who had been earmarked for removal as Minority Whip, had moved to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) to challenge the decision by Azimio to remove her.

Yesterday, Speaker Kingi confirmed that Madzayo had written a letter instructing him to have the status quo maintained pending the hearing and determination of the case.

“Kindly note, as agreed, pending the hearing and determination on the matter relating to the changes in Minority side leadership, be notified that both the Minority Whip and Deputy Minority Whip positions, the status be maintained until the matter is heard and finally determined,” said Kingi.

Smooth transition

He went on: “Subsequently, any changes to be effected shall done simultaneously to allow smooth transition and transfer of leadership positions. The current deputy minority whip, Senator Ledama ole Kina, retains his position until the changes are effected, and only on ascending to the new position of the Whip will he relinquish his current position.”

Kingi’s pronouncement on the matter now rests a protracted war between leaders loyal to Azimio and those allied to Kenya Kwanza in Senate.

Last week, Senate proceedings were suspended for 15 minutes after chaos rocked the House for the fourth time after Kingi failed to effect changes to the Minority wing. Deputy Speaker Kathuri Murungi ordered the suspension of proceedings after senators from the Minority side staged a show, camping on the floor and requesting the Speaker to effect the changes.

In the changes, Azimio coalition has removed Dullo as Senate Minority Whip.

On Tuesday, Murungi said the Speaker’s office had been served with a court order suspending Dullo’s removal.

“In the circumstances and taking into account the provisions of Articles of the Constitution … I, therefore, suspend communication on this matter pending the determination of the case at the tribunal,” said Kathuri.

On Tuesday, the Minority senators walked out of the chamber after the Speaker failed to deliver the communication.

Read Riot Act

Yesterday, Kingi read the Riot Act to the Senators following last week’s chaos in the Senate, warning that he would discharge his duties without fear or favour when it comes to dealing with disorder, irrespective of where it emanates from.

“Let it be on record that a recurrence of the kind of disorder that was witnessed in the Senate in the past two weeks, shall not be tolerated. As your Speaker, I shall discharge our duties without fear or favour when it comes to dealing with disorder, irrespective of where it emanates from,” he warned.

Kingi said there was display of defiance and disrespect to the chairperson, that is alien to the conduct expected of a senator, adding that the directions of the chairperson were ignored and some senators conducted themselves dishonorably.

Abuse of privilege

“I am deeply concerned with the state of affairs in the chamber in the past few sittings, and the abuse of privilege by some senators in this august House. Even when one is not pleased with the directives of the Speaker or the Chairperson, as will sometimes happen, there are better ways of addressing grievances than resorting to outright disorder,” he said.

He added: “Disorderly contact shall not be tolerated at any given instance and shall be dealt with firmly, as per the Standing Orders.”

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