MPs reject motion to probe deaths of prominent persons
04 March 2015, 16:00
Nairobi – The National Assembly has rejected a motion seeking the House to establish a Select Committee to probe recent deaths of prominent persons in the country.
The motion that was sponsored by Kisumu Central MP, Ken Obura was unanimously rejected on the floor of the House on grounds that the issue contravenes Parliament proceedings because it is a family affair and no consultations to affected families were made before drafting it.
Upon the Parliament’s approval of the motion to set up a 15-member Select Committee chaired by Obura himself, he had proposed to carry out investigations into mysterious of the late Senators Mutula Kilonzo (Makueni) and Otieno Kajwang’ (Homa Bay) in addition to the former Prime Minister’s son, Fidel Odinga.
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The National Assembly Leader of Majority Party, Aden Duale, who opposed the motion said bringing family matters into Parliament for debate goes against the laid down House business rules.
“The motion is an abuse of House proceedings because it is a family matter. Whether Duale dies either through an accident or natural death, that is a family matter not to be debated on the floor of the House,” said Duale.
Ruaraka MP, Tom Kajwang’ who is the brother to the late Homa Bay Senator also opposed the motion saying Obura did not consult the bereaved families before drafting with the motion and may derail parliamentarians’ mutual respect and coordination.
“The member did not consult with us to know that this motion will be coming up. To neglect family views is provocative and very insensitive although every member has the right to raise a matter of national interest,” said Kajwang’ during debating session presided over by temporary Speaker, Moses Cheboi.
“The fact that this member has not talked to me as a fellow elected member regarding this matter means I mean nothing to this member. You should not use the floor of this House to be popular with your people or choose a subject to make a headline or change the color and character of what people think about you,” he warned.
However, some MPs who supported the motion saying that since investigation into the deaths of prominent persons is entirely a family issue, more consultations are needed before the motion can be brought to the floor of the House.
“This matter requires further consultation. Families should be consulted first before the matter can be debated on the floor of the House,” said Makueni MP, Daniel Maanzo.
Marakwet West MP, David Bowen who also supported the motion said, “There has been a lot of suspicion by the public on deaths these prominent people in the country and there is need for investigations upon proper consultation on this matter.”
In coming up with the motion for a National Assembly Select Committee to probe deaths of prominent personalities in the country, Obura had argued that the government has failed Kenyans for long after assuring them that the government’s pathologist will release autopsy results to ascertain the cause of death.
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