Kenya: Wetangula Postpones Solomonic Ruling on House Leadership Controversy

Nairobi — National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetangula has shelved the ruling on the question of who is the majority and Minority side in the house as he seeks time to retreat and give determination on the matter.

This follows a fierce tussle between the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya and Kenya Kwanza Alliance as both sides claim to be the majority in the house.

Wetangula instead of delivering the ruling deemed as ‘solomonic’ before the August House asked the lawmakers to address him on the issue before he retreats to direct the house on the matter.

“I will reserve the rest of today’s sitting to allow the house address me on this matter so that I can retreat to make a reasonable ruling on this matter,” Wetangula stated.

In the communication before the house,Speaker Wetangula announced that he had received a letter on 28th September from Suna East MP Junet Mohammed addressing himself as the Majority Whip where he conveyed the house leaders agreed on during the coalition’s parliamentary group meeting.

On September 22, he received a letter from South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro addressing himself as the Majority Whip notifying the Speaker on the house leadership line-up from the Kenya Kwanza camp.

Even as the Speaker retreats to write a ruling on the matter the house will continue with its sittings in the absence of the house business Committee which set the business agenda for the house.

In his ruling, Speaker Wetangula directed that in the next four sittings the house will continue with its sittings as they will be debating the procedural motion on President William Ruto legislative speech made before the house on 29th September.

In the sittings,the Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei will assume the role of the majority leader by moving motions before the house before a ruling is made.

“Since there is no objection over who is the Deputy speaker in the house.I authorise the Deputy Speaker to move certain business as follows by laying certain papers which have statutory deadlines,”said Wetangula.

Speaker’s Wetangula ruling on the matter will set the ball rolling on crucial activities in the house including the formation of the House Business Committee (HBC).

The House Business Committee formulates activities and business of the August house by implementing the Standing Orders which will determine the scheduling or programming of the business of the House and the functioning of the Committees of the House.

The ruling of the Speaker is critical in the formation of the HBC as it comprises the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, and not less than 21 or more than 29 members nominated by parliamentary parties approved by the House.

According to the standing orders the committee is formed within seven days from the day Parliament opens.

On September 17, Azimio La Umoja One Kenya unveiled Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) as its House leader.

While briefing the press, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka maintained that Azimio still controls the majority in the National Assembly as per a coalition agreement deposited at the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP).

Wandayi will be deputized by his Kathiani counterpart Robert Mbui from Wiper, a constituent party within Azimio.

On the other hand, Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichung’wa was named as the Kenya Kwanza House Leader to be deputized by Kilifi North MP Owen Baya.

South Mugirango’s Sylvanus Osoro was designated as the Chief Whip to be deputized by Nominated MP Naomi Waqo.

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