MPs to pay fines for damaging parliament property

Chaos Disrupts Parliament Sitting on Security Bill as MPs Fight during a past sitting. PHOTO/FILE.

Mombasa, KENYA: Legislators at the National 12th Parliament are set to pay fines for the properties damaged by an individual during a parliamentary sitting.

Speaking in Mombasa during the Induction workshop for members of the Chairperson’s panel of the 12th Parliament,National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said that the Privileges Law has since been reviewed so as to incorporate options for a fine, especially on damage of property.

“We have seen what happened in other parliaments and even ours  how MPS at times behave and so we have come up with these measures where one will be fined and we can also withhold one’s salary.” Said Muturi.

Muturi said the amount of fine will be charged according to the value of the property damaged.

The Privileges Law has also been revised and now a Member can be removed from office for demeaning the office of a Member of Parliament.

Muturi however advised the members of the Chairperson’s panel to be tactical in times of heated debates and to allow clever humour that is not demeaning.

“In cracking the whip, do not always be fast to send a Member out of the Chamber- some of them may be asking for just that so as to earn some political glory.” Added Muturi.

In 2014, during the 11th parliament, chaos marred a special Parliamentary sitting on the contentious Security Bill  forcing Speaker Muturi to call for a 30-minute adjournment.

The session had been convened to vote on the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 introduced in Parliament by the Executive.

It turned chaotic when opposition MPs started chanting in the plenary rendering the process impossible.

The six member’s of the Chairperson’s Panel include: Speaker Muturi,Deputy Speaker Moses Cheboi,  Patrick Mariru (Laikipia West, first chairperson), Soipan Tuya (Narok, second chairperson), Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi West, third chairperson) and Luanda MP Christopher Omulele (fourth chairperson).

Mbalu and Omulele served in the committee in the 11th Parliament. Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang’, who served in the committee in the last Parliament, according to Speaker Muturi was left out due to indiscipline.

The members approved by Parliament in September, will chair the committee of the whole House and serve on the basis of first, second, third and fourth chairperson.

The members will help the speaker and his deputy manage the affairs of the House.