Why Azimio la Umoja senators walked out of Senate
Azimio la Umoja Senators on Thursday, September 8, 2022 walked out of the Senate just before the process of voting for the speaker kicked off.
The Senators stormed out of the Senate in the process just moments after the clerk, Jeremiah Nyengenye announced that Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka had withdrawn from the speaker’s race.
Narok Senator, Ledama ole Kina and his Kisii Counterpart Richard Onyonka led the Azimio allied leaders in the protest.
“I want to draw to the attention of the senate and honarouble senators that this morning Hon Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, by a letter reference WDM/SEM/GC 2022, his excellency withdrew his candidature of the speaker of the senate will not appear on the ballot paper,” said the clerk.
Immediately he issued the statement, all the Azimio la Umoja senators stood up and walked out.
Speaking to the member of the fourth estate minutes after the walk-out, Senator Kajwang said, “We have decided not to participate in certain processes going on at the Chamber. Nominated senators were only gazetted late yesterday hence disenfranchising them yet they are also qualified to vie.”
He continued, “We also raised the integrity of candidates running for the speakership of the House. We did report to commence criminal proceedings against Amason Kingi. Is this the person we need to sit over a House as we oversight counties? This is why we have decided we will not be part of that charade.”
The Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna added, “We have been provided with CVs late yet we were also vetted before vying for our positions. We have not been provided with integrity documents of the candidates. We have not been allowed to interrogate the qualification and suitability of the candidates.”
He noted, “It is better to be defeated in honour than to be part of the fraud. That’s why we are walking out. We are refusing to sanitise a fraudulent process.”
On Thursday, the senators were sworn into office while members of parliament were sworn in at the National Assembly.
Last week President Kenyatta issued a gazette notice saying that the first sitting of the leaders will take place today.
The gazette notice is dated September 5, 2022.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by Article 126 (2) of the Constitution of Kenya, I, Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander- in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, appoint that the First Sitting of the Senate shall be held at the Main Parliament Buildings in the Senate Chamber, Nairobi, on the 8th September, 2022, at 9.00 a.m,” it read in full.
By the close of business on Tuesday, September 6, a total of 19 individuals had applied for the position of the Speaker of the National Assembly while another 17 had expressed their interest in being speakers in the senate.
In the Senate, Kenya Kwanza has settled on former Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi after an agreement was hatched between him and former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar.
Already, Azimio la Umoja had settled on Mr Kenneth Marende as the candidate who will be the nominee for senate speaker.
Kenya Kwanza has also settled on Senator Moses Wetang’ula for the National Assembly Speaker while Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka will be the Azimio la Umoja candidate.
The election went on despite the walk-out and Amason was declared the winner with 47 votes and sworn in.
No fresh elections will be held after the Azimio team walked out.