Duale removal a scheme to muzzle Parliament — Alice Wahome

Kandara MP says there is a plot to reduce lawmakers into stooges

In Summary

• The MP said Duale's removal should have been decided by members of the party and a vote possibly taken.

• She said MPs are being reduced to stooges with no right to ask questions.

Kandara MP Alice Wahome in her constituency in January 2020
Kandara MP Alice Wahome in her constituency in January 2020

The removal of Garissa Township MP Aden Duale as National Assembly's Majority leader is a scheme to reduce lawmakers into stooges and muzzle Parliament, Kandara legislator Alice Wahome has said.

Duale was Monday replaced by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya at a Jubilee Parliamentary Group meeting chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta at the KICC, Nairobi.

Wahome on Tuesday condemned Duale's removal and accused the Jubilee Party of undermining the Legislature. She said the country fought hard to ensure constitutional offices are supported by constitutional democracy.

“The police service is independent. The Inspector-General should work without direction by any office and only guided by the law. Similarly, Parliament should be independent, but what we have seen in the last few months indicate otherwise,” Wahome said.

The MP said Duale’s removal is a major decision that should have been discussed by the parliamentary group and a vote taken before a decision is made.

“But what we saw on Monday is a decision that had been made elsewhere and put through the PG for adoption,” she said.

She said it is incomprehensible that leaders are invited to a PG and not given an opportunity to contribute to the decisions made.

The MP said she did not attend the meeting as it was called on short notice and because she does not want to be used to rubberstamp ideas that do not work towards strengthening democracy.

She said after the election, MPs swore to be faithful to the Constitution but are now being removed from parliamentary committees on the basis of disloyalty and not incompetence.

Wahome is among 16 Jubilee lawmakers who have been removed from committees. She was the vice-chairperson of the Justice and Legal committee.

She said the unity of the country cannot be achieved without allowing diverse opinions.

“I am one of the greatest supporters of development and growth of our democracy, which is key to a nation’s development,” she said.

She said many decisions made by the Jubilee Party, including bringing Kanu on board as a coalition partner, had not been agreed upon by members.

Wahome said Kanu has an awful history and was sent home in 2002 by multiparty democracy proponents.

“For us in the Jubilee Party who were in the frontline fighting for multiparty democracy, to wake up one day and find Kanu a partner was a shock,” she said.

“But going forward, people must be allowed to express their views and make their own political decisions, and of course choices have consequences and some of us are ready for them.”

Wahome said she will not be intimidated by being removed from a parliamentary committee. She said she was offered the chairmanship of the Justice and Legal Affairs committee to turn her back on Deputy President William Ruto.

She, however, declined the offer, saying she did not think the way the positions were being offered would foster unity and inclusivity.

“To get such a position, it is members who should propose and elect you. They wanted to install me to use me as a tool to fight someone,” Wahome said.


Edited by P.O