The battle for leadership positions in the National Assembly between the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party and the Kenya Kwanza Alliance continued on Tuesday when MPs held their first official sitting with both sides claiming to control the majority side of the House.
Being the first official sitting, it was largely anticipated that the legislator’s first business would be to form the House Business Committee, but this was not the case as house leaders had not been picked. After being granted the opportunity to deliberate by speaker Moses Masika Wetangula before making the final decision both parties maintained their stance that they controlled the numbers in parliament.
During the debate, Laikipia North MP Sarah Korere claimed that the constitution recognized Azimio la Umoja One Kenya party as the majority side, sentiments that were met with resistance by Kikuyu constituency MP allied to Kenya Kwanza Kimani Ichung’wah. “I think Korere is completely out of order because there is nothing in the Constitution, either in Article 107 or Article 108, that decrees that a party by name is the majority party and I think it is important that she withdraws that statement because it is a defilement of the Constitution to purport that the constitution decrees Azimio as the majority party.” He said.
The controversial switching of sides in which some of Azimio affiliated parties such as the United Democratic Movement (UDM) who signed post-election coalition deals with Kenya Kwanza, still took centre stage. Ganze MP Kenneth Kazungu rushed to their defence pointing out that Azimio belittled the smaller parties before the August 9th polls because they contributed nothing to the party.
“Nikisimama hapa nashangaa kuskia ya kwamba watu wa Azimio-One Kenya coalition wanasema kuwa chama cha PAA ni miongoni mwa vile vyama viko katika muungano huo. PAA kilitoka katika muungano wa Azimio on May 8, 2022, miezi mitatu kabla ya uchaguzi na hii ilifanyika kwa sababu hii ndoa ya PAA na Azimio ilikuwa si ndoa sawa kwa sababu kulikuwa na mizozano sana,” he said. “Watu wa Azimio walikuwa wamejaa kiburi na walikuwa wamejaa madharau. Kama hawakuwa wanatutaka wakati huo, nashindwa ni kwa nini mnatutaka saa hii.”
In response to Kazungu’s sentiments nominated MP Sabina Chege noted that the coalition documents they signed before the elections bind them to the Azimio side. “Even if they go the document they signed, whether they had read it or not, is binding and so Azimio coalition has several parties and we are the majority,” she said.
“I know you have received communication from the Registrar of Political Parties so we are not disputing who the majority is, give us a chance and agree on the way forward to form the House Business Committee so that then we can serve the people of Kenya.”
In compliance with pre-election coalition agreements filed with the Registrar of Political Parties, Azimio has a majority of 173 MPs over Kenya Kwanza’s 164 members in the National Assembly. The other 12 MPs in the 349-member House are independent MPs who are not considered for assigning the majority side. With both parties still standing their ground Speaker, Moses Wetangula suspended the naming of the bona fide majority leaders to Thursday.