Speaker Muturi: Parliament is not being influenced by Executive


Speaker Muturi: Parliament is not being influenced by Executive
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi speaking during a past event

In Summary

  • National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Friday defended the independence of Parliament.
  • The Executive has been accused of  encroaching on the legistlative arm of government.
  • Muturi insists parliament is independent, but working inter-dependently with the other two arms of government; The Executive and The Judiciary.

Parliament has defended its independence amid claims of encroachment by the Executive.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Friday said there was nothing wrong with either the ruling Jubilee Party or the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition whipping its members to take certain positions on various legislative issues on the floor of the house.

As one arm of the government, the spotlight has lately been on parliament, with the Jubilee party, that has a majority in both chambers of the bicameral 12th assembly accused of controlling House agenda.

Speaking during a liaison committee retreat in Mombasa, Muturi insisted parliament is independent, but working inter-dependently with the other two arms of government; the Executive and Judiciary.

“That’s not to say that even you meet like that members can’t disagree, they can. It’s perfectly democratic for members to disagree with their parties,” said Speaker Muturi in reference to the house leadership row between Jubilee Party leadership and five rebel MPs.

Jubilee Party lawmakers recently converged at state house, Nairobi for a Parliamentary Group meeting, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta with opposition MPs claiming that the House was no longer independent and was being controlled from State House.

“There’s nothing wrong with members of a ruling coalition or the opposition meeting their party leadership. How will they know how to handle their business if they are not on the same page with their parties? That is not controlling the House. Tell me of any democracy in the world where MPs don’t meet with their party leaders,” said Muturi.

During the vetting of cabinet secretary nominees, NASA MPs kept off the Appointments Committee, with critics terming the vetting process a rubber stamping event, since it was largely a Jubilee affair.

All the nominees easily sailed through, and were sworn in at State House, Nairobi on Friday February 16, 2018.

“When people say that we are rubber stamping are we not supposed to look at every issue independently and make decisions based on merit? It is good to be critical but we also need to be realistic,” added Speaker Muturi.

Muturi also defended the nomination and appointment of Sports and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Rashid Achesa Mohamed, who dropped out at class 7.

“If he is able to read and write and express himself either in English or Swahili, that’s all. If he is of sound mind and meets the threshold of the Leadership and Integrity Act and has the relevant leadership skills then that is what is required,” said Speaker Muturi.

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Story By Francis Gachuri
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