• Both sides have been strategising on how to carry the day when the House resumes for a three-day special sitting
•The team aligned to Ruto employed a two-thronged strategy to frustrate Uhuru and Raila's troops.
MPs are headed for yet another showdown from Wednesday as they begin the third round of debate on the controversial Political Parties (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
Both sides have been strategising on how to carry the day when the House resumes for a three-day special sitting after two similar processes ended in disarray with little progress.
A well-coordinated but outnumbered Tangatanga team has succeeded in frustrating the Coalition Bill in the last two special meetings.
On Monday, MPs allied to Uhuru and Raila were confident of having their way this week.
They said they are more prepared to deal with the Ruto brigade.
The Kieleweke lawmakers are banking on the Speaker’s directive to have all voting done electronically.
This way, they hope to deflate Tangatanga lawmakers, who have been using time-wasting tactics, especially during voting to frustrate the Bill.
The team aligned to Ruto employed a two-thronged strategy to frustrate Uhuru and Raila's troops.
They sponsored an array of amendments to the Bill by and in each stage forced division.
As part of the filibustering, the lawmakers also digressed into non-relevant issues when given time to debate to take maximum time and deny House time to make progress.
Minority leader John Mbadi said the introduction of electronic voting will deal a blow to Ruto MPs filibustering tactics.
“There is one step Parliament has taken, which may save the situation that is people are going to vote electronically. With electronic vote, it will be faster,” Mbadi said on the phone.
“If they want to filibuster and subject everything to a vote, with electronic vote, it will be faster.”
In giving notice of the sitting, Speaker Justin Muturi invoked Standing Order 70 and directed the Clerk to facilitate the use of an electronic voting system during the three-day sitting.
Nominated MP David Sankok said they are strategising and will surprise the proponents of the Bill which is meant to benefit one particular politician.
“It doesn’t matter whether it will be electronic or manual, whichever way they want us to vote, we are coming with enough members and we dare them we will defeat them for the sake of Kenyans,” Sankok said on the phone.
Mbadi, whose five-day suspension ends on Thursday, however, urged the Speaker to deal firmly with lawmakers out to paralyse debate.
“It is for the speaker to stamp his authority and bring order and to stop unnecessary filibustering. The committee chair needs to be tough,” he said.
DP’s allies have opposed the Bill, saying it is being rushed to force restive One Kenya Alliance principals into an alliance ahead of the August polls.
The Tangatanga team have warned the Bill gives the Registrar of Political Parties more powers over political parties without offering a window for oversight.
“What is so urgent on the Political Parties Amendment Bill than Corona that is disturbing Kenyans at the moment or the drought that has destroyed livelihoods in the pastoralists region?” Sankok posed.
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi told the Star they are confident the Bill will sail through in the two Houses.
The bill is seen as part of the strategy to turn Azimio la Umoja, Raila Odinga's 2022 machine, into a coalition party.
“The Bill will sail through and we expect the President to assent to it for it to become law,” the Ugunja MP said.
“All these other things are noise.”
Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni said the special sitting will for once debunk Tangatanga lies of numbers.
“We must demonstrate to the world that they have no numbers and what they have done is to lie and use propaganda and give the impression that they have control,” Kioni said.
South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro, however, said they are ready to dismantle Uhuru, Raila team and frustrated the passage of the Bill.
“We were there to make a point and ensure that draconian laws that return Kenya to the dark days do not sail through,” Osoro said.
“We shall meet on the floor again any day”
Edited by Kiilu Damaris