There was drama in Parliament on Tuesday after lawmakers allied to Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party stormed out of a committee meeting citing presence of non-parliamentarians.
The members of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) took issue with the presence of the Registrar of Political Parties, the chairperson of the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal among other persons interested in the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
The eight lawmakers who walked out of the meeting include Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Daniel Tuitoek of Mogotio.
Others are Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, his Kilifi North counterpart Owen Baya and Tigania West’s John Mutunga.
Kipkelion East MP Joseph Limo also walked out on grounds he was denied a chance to speak.
The “Hustler Nation” lawmakers said they read the invitation as having been specific for members only.
“I was coming as a member with a right to move my amendment on the floor. If I sit in the same meeting with stakeholders with no rights, I will be ceding my legislative job,” said Wahome.
“JLAC should have first sat and prosecuted the public participation…complete the process and then members can come and see if we can harmonize,” she added.
On his part, Barasa posed: “It is about the law. I have amendments limiting ORPP involvement in primaries. Will she defend it while here?”
The meeting chaired by Kangema MP Muturi Kigano had been convened to harmonize the proposed amendments ahead of Wednesday’s debate on the contentious Bill.
The ‘Tanga Tanga’ MPs vowed to present their amendments to the House tomorrow.
House Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi deferred the heated sitting last Wednesday to allow amendments that had been fronted by members to be harmonized first before allowing the debate to proceed.
The Bill seeks to among other things provide for the formation of a coalition political party an aspect which is among contested issues.