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November 17, 2018

No more fistfights in Houses as new rules restrict MPs’ conduct

An aerial view of parliament buildings.New Parliamentarians will be required to abide by new Code of Conduct to protect the integrity of the two Houses – National Assembly and Senate.HEZRON NJOROGE
An aerial view of parliament buildings.New Parliamentarians will be required to abide by new Code of Conduct to protect the integrity of the two Houses – National Assembly and Senate.HEZRON NJOROGE

New Parliamentarians will be required to abide by new Code of Conduct to protect the integrity of the two Houses – National Assembly and Senate.

Vibrant debates are expected to emanate from the 12th Parliament following the entrant of young leaders who trampled on their opponents to clinch their seats.

The new entrants in politics include musician Charles Kanyi aka Jaguar (Starehe) and former UoN student leader Paul Ongili aka Babu Owino (Embakasi East).

Other Mps include journalists Mohammed Ali (Nyali), Wanjiku wa Kibe (Gatundu North) and Gathoni wa Muchomba (Kiambu) and Ben Oluoch (Migori) and Enoch Wambua (Kitui).

23-year-old John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South) is also among the new crop of leaders that successfully made it to Parliament.

According to the Code of Conduct, the legislators are supposed to respect the House and its institutions at all times.

They will be required to uphold integrity, selflessness, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership while in Parliament.

Fistfights and scuffles were witnessed severally in the 11th Parliament as members allied to NASA and Jubilee differed during debates.

Last year, Parliament turned chaotic and disorderly as Cord MPs made good their threat to disrupt President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address.

Several opposition MPs were ejected from the House after they turned the chambers into a football pitch by blowing whistles immediately Uhuru rose to address the special joint sitting of the House.

“The member's non-parliamentary activities should not interfere with or compromise his or her duties or bring the House into disrepute. They should treat other members with respect and strive to have cordial relations,” read the code in part.

The rules states: “A member of the House shall ensure that parliamentary duties of the member take precedence over the member’s other activities”.

The new Mps are not supposed to accept any financial inducement or reward for them to perform their duties in the House.

They will also be obliged to register with their relevant Speakers all financial and non-financial interests that may compromise them while conducting House business.

“Before contributing to debate in the House or its Committees, or communicating with State Officers or other public servants, declare any relevant interest in the context of parliamentary debate or the matter under discussion,” read part of the rules.

The new lawmakers are supposed to relinquish their normal lifestyle and familiarize themselves with the new parliamentary rules so as to offer transformative leadership for their electorates.

“Members shall proceed in a judicious manner when dealing with all persons in accordance with the Constitution and the laws and conventions of Parliament. Be faithful and bear true allegiance to the people and the Republic of Kenya,” it continues.

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