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Comedy in Parliament as MPs struggle to debate in Swahili – VIDEO

By Mary Wangari November 1st, 2019 2 min read

Kenyan Members of Parliament evoked laughter during debate on the floor of the House as they fumbled in their struggle to speak in Swahili, the country’s national language, during a sitting on Wednesday, October 30.

In a hilarious video posted on the Parliament Youtube Channel, the legislators are captured struggling to find the right Swahili words to express themselves, leaving their colleagues roaring with laughter.

The situation was so dire that Majority Leader Aden Duale had to issue a humorous disclaimer by apologising beforehand to their Tanzanian counterparts who might have been watching the massacre of Swahili grammar.

“I would like to apologize to our Tanzanians brothers if they are listening and following this debate on TV to forgive us, because you know, we have started today,” said Duale during the National Assembly’s inaugural public forum for committees.

Things became even thicker when Minority Leader Junet Mohamed urged National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to enforce the Standing Orders which disallow them from reading from their scripts translated into Swahili.

“You are only allowed to refer briefly to what you have written but not reading. You have to enforce this because it’s like the Majority Leader is reading a statement. It’s like he’s making a speech in Parliament. He’s supposed to speak without reading,”opined Mohamed as he struggled to find the right words as the House burst into uncontrollable laughter.

Not one to easily throw in the towel, Duale stood to defend himself, still in swahili, arguing that the Suna MP misinterpreted the house rules as the Speaker had the power to allow an MP to read if it helps to clarify an issue.

His attempt to conclude his remarks with a Swahili proverb only attracted more chortling.

“Wahenga walisema usiache mbacho kwa msala upitao. Hiyo ni kusema tusiache Kiswahili wetu,” he said amidst laughter.

Suba MP Millie Odhiambo, who started out with giggles, urged the August House to incorporate Sheng, the slang spoken by majority of the youths in the country, into the Standing Orders of the National Assembly.