Speaker Ethuro orders investigations into police deployment

By Marie Yambo/Franco Kundu

Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro has ordered investigations into heavy deployment of police to Parliament Buildings ahead of Wednesday’s special sitting.

Ethuro directed the House National Security Committee to look into the matter and report back to the House.

The Speaker also ruled that the entire session would be broadcast live after the Parliament Broadcasting Unit signal was switched off last week when the National Assembly sitting degenerated into chaos.

His ruling followed protests and condemnation of the heavy police presence that saw some senators forced to abandon their cars and walk to the chamber.

The anti-riot officers, mainly GSU, barricaded Parliament Road and Harambee Avenue as more officers stood guard around the August House.The Senators said the presence of the police was scaring them sick.

Both Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki and his Minority counterpart Moses Wetang’ula condemned the presence of the police on roads leading to Parliament Buildings, saying it eroded the independence of the Senate.

Earlier, the Executive arm of Government came under sharp criticism by senators for using armed police officers to take captive Parliament buildings as they settled down for a special sitting.

While requesting for clarification from the Speaker as to who may have authorized armed police officers to barricade roads around Parliament the Senators said it is ridiculous, and unacceptable, claiming that the Senate has lost its independence to the Executive.

Led by Majority and Minority Leaders Kithure Kindiki and Moses Wetang’ula respectively the Senators called for an adjournment of the special sitting until the officers are ordered out of precints of Parliament.

Senators Bonnie Khalwale [Kakamega], George Khaniri [Vihiga], Wilfred Machage [Migori], Stephen Sang [Nandi] and Janet Ong’era [Nominated] said the officers should have concentrated on protecting Kenyans elsewhere.

Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o [Kisumu] and his Siaya counterpart James Orengo questioned the constitutionality of the special sitting with the public having been barred from the Speaker’s gallery.

In his communication Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro declined a request to adjourn the special sitting and instead directed the Chairperson of the National Security committee Yusuf Haji to investigate and avail a report detailing how the armed police officers came to of Parliament.

Moments later Haji told the Senate that the officers had already been ordered out of Parliament precincts even as senators pursued the matter further.

  

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