Court order saves Sabina Chege in Parliament as Azimio MPs dig in

SAbina Chege

Nominated MP Sabina Chege.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Proceedings of the National Assembly were on Thursday suspended for 15 minutes as opposition MPs protested a ruling by Speaker Moses Wetang’ula failing to remove Sabina Chege as the deputy minority whip.

Ms Chege got temporary relief from being removed as Azimio deputy minority whip in the National Assembly after Mr Wetang’ula says his hands are tied by a court order.

In a chaotic session that saw seven MPs suspended for between five days to two weeks, Mr Wetang’ula said he will act on the matter once the court has made a final determination on it.

Ms Chege, Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Fatuma Mnyazi (Malindi), Catherine Omayo (Busia), Joyce Kamene (Machakos), Rosa Buyu (Kisumu) and Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang’ were suspended for what the speaker termed as unruly conduct contrary to Standing Order 107 (a) (3).

Ms Chege, Ms Odhiambo, Kajwang and Ms Buyu were each suspended for two weeks while Ms Omayo and Mnyazi were suspended for five days; Ms Kamene was suspended from two sittings.

Mr Wetang’ula on Thursday said that despite Azimio fulfilling all the conditions he had told them earlier, he cannot effect the changes due to the court order.

Mr Wetang’ula said the National Assembly has previously respected a court order and he is not about to depart from the norm saying there was a clear separation of powers between the three arms of government.

Confronted by a court order

“On the one hand, the minority party has met all procedural requirements to effect a change of its leadership, on the other hand, I’m confronted by a court order that specifically cited the Speaker and the House as parties that seems to challenge an administrative process,” he said.

He went on: “My hands are therefore tied with regards to the court order that has been brought to my attention until and when further information is provided that this order has been varied or set aside, the court effectively suspends the decision by the minority party on the removal of Sabina Chege as deputy minority whip.”

Mr Wetang’ula said despite the sympathy he has over the minority predicament, the House has previously respected court orders.

“I want to tell Azimio that although you have procedurally followed the procedure of removing your deputy minority whip, there is a court order to which you are not a party. I would advise you to be enjoined in the matter if you so wish and pursue the matter in court,” Mr Wetang’ula said.

The move to de-whip Ms Chege was put on hold by Mr Wetang’ula last month arguing that Azimio did not provide for a replacement as provided for in the Standing Orders.

Azimio in its Parliamentary Group held last month, settled on Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje as Ms Chege’s replacement.