National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has come out to defend himself against claims of bias in the House following his recent move to join the Deputy President William Ruto-led Kenya Kwanza alliance ahead of the August polls.
Speaker Muturi, addressing the National Assembly during the afternoon session on Thursday, dared Members of Parliament doubting his impartiality to table an impeachment motion against him in accordance with the law.
According to the speaker, his political allegiance is completely detached from his role as Speaker of the National Assembly, which he vowed to continue effecting as he has since his installation nine years ago.
In any case, he said, he was sponsored to the House by a political party just like all his predecessors anyway, hence alleging bias on his part just because he is now in another formation is illogical.
“I don’t know of any Speaker since independence who was ever elected as an independent in this House. All Speakers, including myself, have been sponsored by political parties, and they have gone on to preside over the proceedings and affairs of the House regardless of the sponsoring party,” he said.
“On August 31, 2018, I offered to run for Speaker of the National Assembly under the sponsorship of the Jubilee Party. You, honorable members, are the ones who gave me the mandate, I did not hear you say I need to disclose the relationship – whether personal, official, or political – I had with the leadership of the Jubilee Party. I appreciate that we’re in very exciting times, but I think at this late hour in the day, you cannot challenge my impartiality.”
Muturi cited examples of regional countries, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as the U.K and the U.S, where he claimed Speakers of their Houses are elected MPs but still continue serving in their roles.
He hence stated that he will not step down from his seat, further daring MPs allied to the Jubilee and ODM parties of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition to impeach him.
“I will continue to serve you for as long as you desire. If any of you feels that this representative is not serving you to your satisfaction, you’re at liberty to express yourselves in the manner provided for both in Article 106 and in our standing orders,” said Muturi.
“If you feel that the Speaker is not sufficiently impartial – because the Speaker who is before you is unwilling to resign, and this you can take to the bank – please look at the provisions of Article 106 of the Constitution.”