Chaos as Parliament passes Security Laws Bill
MPs exchanged blows and Deputy Speaker had water poured on her as Parliament passed the contentious Security Laws Bill on Wednesday night during one of the most acrimonious sessions witnessed in Kenya.
The government side had its way as MPs threw a ring around House Speaker Justin Muturi to shield him from Opposition legislators who unsuccessfully attempted to scuttle the process.
After reading each of the more than 100 amendments amid deafening noise from members, Mr Muturi declared they had been endorsed.
All the while, Cord MPs chanted “Bado mapambano” or “No way!”
And shortly after 7 pm, the Bill was adopted, meaning the laws that have been declared draconian are now part of Kenya’s legislation.
MOVE TO COURT
Immediately after the Bill was passed, some Cord MPs vowed to move to court to challenge.
At some point, a Parliament orderly had to shield Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso with his outfit as an MP emptied the contents of her water bottle on Laboso’s head.
There was drama earlier in the day when Cord senators Johnston Muthama and Moses Wetangula were allegedly roughed up by Jubilee MPs.
Cord MPs bitterly protested the passage of the law.
Minority leader Francis Nyenze said: “Cord rejects these moves to stifle democracy and good governance. We have witnessed a very crucial Bill being tabled for the Third Reading without an accompanying report from the relevant committees.”
He accused Jubilee of trying to “divorce Kenyans from the activities of their elected representatives. They want to vacate democracy”.
ODM secretary general Ababu Namwamba said the manner in which the Bill was passed was an advance warning of how dangerous the same laws would be used.
“Parliament Buildings have been turned into a military barrack to demonstrate indeed that they are prepared to turn it into a police state,” said Ababu.
Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo weighed in: “I have never seen, even in movies, a mace being taken out of the House through the back door. It means it is evil. It is government wanting to pull a fast one and in an evil way.”