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Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei criticises absent opposition MPs

By Mercy Simiyu December 11th, 2023 1 min read

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Gladys Shollei has criticised opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) for their frequent absence during parliamentary sessions, asserting that it hampers their effectiveness in challenging government proposals.

In an interview on Citizen TV on December 11, 2023, Shollei highlighted the issue, revealing that only a handful of opposition-aligned MPs regularly attend plenary sessions.

Despite their low attendance, she noted that these MPs often complain about being overlooked during parliamentary debates.

“Why are you not present in the House?” Shollei questioned, emphasising that criticising the parliamentary process on national television is insufficient if opposition members are not actively participating.

Shollei argued that the lack of attendance weakens the opposition’s legislative impact, urging against solely blaming the majority.

Notable opposition MPs mentioned by Shollei for their consistent attendance include Robert Mbui (Kathiani), James Nyikal (Seme), Benson Makali (Kitui Central), Anthony Aluoch (Mathare), and Irene Mayaka (Nominated).

“As Hon. Mbui was saying they feel that the opposition is not being heard, but I can always name…look at the opposition side anytime, it is nearly empty, and I can name for you which opposition members speak,” Shollei stated.

This revelation comes amid the passage of controversial legislation by the National Assembly, including the Finance Act 2023, contributing to tax increments and exacerbating the cost of living during an economic downturn.

Notably contested is the Housing Levy, ruled unconstitutional.