A section of lawmakers in the National Assembly has raised concerns over an incident where Deputy President William Ruto was blocked from flying to Uganda from Wilson Airport on Monday.
In what has been interpreted as an escalation of the DP’s fallout out with his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta, the second in command was made to wait at the airport for more than five hours for clearance that never happened.
The security agencies at the airport cited orders from above even as they cleared MPs who were in the company of Ruto after they contacted the National Assembly Speaker. The DP on the other hand returned to his Karen home a dejected man after he was denied clearance.
Following the incident, Ruaraka Member of Parliament TJ Kajwang raised the issue in parliament on Tuesday, seeking answers on why the DP was humiliated at the airport.
Kajwang sought an explanation on the role played by the protocol officers, saying their inaction exposed the president’s principal assistant to ridicule.
“It is so serious that a whole DP can be exposed to ridicule in a manner as we saw yesterday just because of failure on the protocol officers,” the MP said.
The legislator noted that the DP’s office is constitutional, hence any protocol breaches that affect its operations can’t be taken lightly.
Kajwang also demanded to know from the Speaker of the House if MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and Benjamin Tayari (Kinango), who were in the company of Ruto, had sought clearance as claimed.
“The other day three MPs went to a foreign country for a private visit. Once you become a public officer there is nothing private about your visit. I would want to know if the members notified the speaker of the National Assembly,” added Kajwang.
Presiding Speaker Moses Kipkemboi Cheboi declined to divulge the information terming it private.
“This is an issue that should be discussed formally,” Cheboi said adding that the reason why a member can seek permission from the speaker is for purpose of attendance of sittings.
On the DP’s issue, Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ong’era concurred with TJ Kajwang that the state needs to provide answers on why Ruto was barred from leaving the country. A section of the lawmakers in the house, however, felt Kajwang and team were ridiculing the DP.
“This is a matter of national importance. That a DP can be barred, we must know the reason. We are waiting for him (Kajwang’) to raise that substantive motion so that we can deliberate on this issue,” Ongera said.
Lawmakers allied to the DP had yesterday accused President Kenyatta of frustrating his deputy following the Monday incident.
Ruto was on a private trip to Uganda, and it is yet to be clear what his mission was.