Starehe Member of Parliament Charles Kanyi, alias Jaguar, and his Embakasi East counterpart Paul Ongili, popularly known as Babu Owino on Tuesday, October 10 engaged in a physical confrontation at the media centre at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi.
Babu Owino was heard shouting that President Uhuru Kenyatta-led Government is a caretaker one, a remark which angered Jaguar, a Jubilee MP, who is a close ally of the Head of State, resulting in a physical fight, which was broken up by three other MPs present at the scene.
“I was at the media centre, when Jaguar, in the company of Embakasi Central MP approached me and said: ‘You must respect the president, you cannot be abusing him as you so wish.’ They harassed me, and threw a jab toward me. I had to fight in defense. It is during the scuffle that I told them respect is earned, and not given,” Babu Owino told eDaily.
When eDaily reached out to Jaguar for comment, the Starehe lawmaker said: “I am in Parliament, I will let you know what transpired shortly.”
Babu Owino and Jaguar continued their verbal exchanges while entering the National Assembly premises, as cameras captured the entire drama.
The two legislators had gone to participate in a debate on whether to adopt or reject amendments to the electoral laws.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee that put together views from members of the public and stakeholders on the Bills on electoral laws tabled its report in both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday, October 10.
The committee, co-chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo and Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo concluded receiving opinions on the controversial laws on Thursday, October 5.
The committee retreated to Windsor Hotel in Nairobi on Sunday, October 8 to craft its report after receiving views from members of the public.
Appearing before the Committee, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, civil society of Kenya, citizens among others raised concerns over the timing of the suggested changes, given the presidential vote is just slightly over two weeks away.
The Opposition lawmakers skipped the entire three-day exercise after intentionally failing to submit its list for the preferred members to sit in the committee.
If the electoral laws pass, the dissenting MPs have vowed to fight them through the courts.
The Bill was sponsored by MPs affiliated to the ruling coalition, Jubilee.
The MPs, who were on short recess, will sit from Tuesday until Thursday to either adopt or reject the report.
The National Assembly would, thereafter, go on 25-day recess.
CARETAKER GOVERNMENT DEBATE
Even as Owino and a section of the Opposition claim that the Uhuru-led Government is serving in a caretaker position, Attorney General Githu Muigai had on September 22 dismissed those presuppositions.
According to sections of the Opposition, a caretaker government should be formed until another president is duly sworn-in, if the country fails to hold a fresh presidential election by November 1.
Addressing a news conference on September 22, Githu Muigai said Uhuru Kenyatta’s presidency will remain valid until such a time an election is held and a new President elected.
“There’s no doubt as to what the Constitution provides: From the day a General Election is declared to the day a fresh, a new or a re-elected President is sworn-in, the government continues without lacuna and without any void,” he said.
The AG was reacting to statements by the National Super Alliance (NASA) that Kenyatta is a caretaker President and that his incumbency could come to an end if fresh elections are not held within 60 days after annulment of Kenyatta’s victory in the August 8 polls.
“The Head of State is only limited to making fresh appointments as stipulated in Article 134 of the Constitution,” said the AG.