Senate treated to fireworks as Murkomen and Wetangula exchange barbs
7 months ago, 7 Dec 14:46
Senator leaders were on Thursday engaged in a fierce verbal altercation in the chamber that left colleagues and Speaker Ken Lusaka perplexed. Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and his Minority counterpart Moses Wetangula traded barbs over adherence to House rules and procedures as set by the last Senate in dealing with issues. Trouble ensued after Murkomen asked his deputy Senator Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo) to second a motion seeking to alter the House calendar by one week to allow time to dispense off the delayed election of Kenya’s MPs to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Instead of giving the opportunity to the Minority side as was the tradition set by his predecessor Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki and Wetangula in the last Senate, Murkomen ignored the same, and opted to have Dullo. Vihiga senator George Khaniri sought the Speaker’s intervention on the matter, faulting Murkomen’s action, only for his point of order to open ‘cannon of worms’ in regards to the relationship between the two leaders. “Senator Murkomen is deviating from the norms of the House. This matter should have been canvassed in the House Business Committee (HBC) and seconded by the opposite side, “interjected Khaniri. Senator Wetangula took the opportunity to also register his displeasure with the conduct of the Majority leadership after Murkomen dismissed Khaniri concerns, saying there was no way he was attempting to deviate from traditions. Wetangula even revisited an incident where Dullo tabled the Controller of Budgets (CoB) reports on counties and side a colleague from the Majority side to second, sidelining the minority side. “It’s obvious, we don’t need to get the consent of the minority leader especially when he didn’t attend the HBC meeting and has not looked for over the same,” said Murkomen in downplaying Khaniri’s concern. He jeered, “Courtesy and senator Wetangula do not add up. You miss senate committee, you don’t go to the office of the speaker to ask and you have no courtesy to look me, its wrong. Khaniri stood on a point of order, which Standing Order provides for the order? This is breach of the SO.” Wetangula angered by Murkomen’s response, stressed on the need for the House to conduct its affairs in a bi-partisan manner, which they have divergent views. “When you listen to senator Murkomen proliferating on irrelevant issues, you wonder. The practice, tendency and good behavior requires that we stand up and raise issues,” charged Wetangula. He continued, “It’s like testing the wheel and we are best at it. When presiding House activities, we must recognise the two sides, especially when issues are not contested. It is courteous and good behavior for the unity of the House. The infantile chest thumping does not inspire confidence in House.” He explained that he excused himself from the HBC meeting and even rang the Speaker. “I missed the HBC but talked to the speaker on phone, as I was engaged in a serious national issues, touching on December 12th. Murkomen should know, he is no longer a back ...
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