Cheers, jeers as legislators’ scorecard in House released

Thursday, July 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Parliament. Photo/File

A total of 21 Members of Parliament have not uttered a single word in the House since the year began, a new report released yesterday shows. 

A survey by Mzalendo Trust, shows that out of the 21 members who have not made any contribution during the Third Session of the current Parliament, 19 are from the National Assembly and the two from the Senate. 

The worst performers, according to the report, are MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) and Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West), who have not uttered a word, not only this year, but from 2017.

“The two members made zero contributions since 2017,” reads the report.

Sudi, an outspoken Jubilee Party MP known for his volatile speeches defending Deputy President William Ruto, and Arama, a reserved second-term MP, are known to make technical appearances in the House.

Likewise, they do not attend committee meetings despite being members of two of them, with Sudi sitting in the Energy Committee and Arama in Transport, Public Works and Housing. 

In the Senate, Busia Senator Amos Wako and Halima Abdille, have not uttered a single word in the current session.

Interestingly, Sudi is very vocal in social media and public rallies, especially in his constituency. He is a fierce critic of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his administration.

Other poor performers in the Senate include Gideon Moi (Baringo), Mercy Chebeni (Nominated), Christine Zawadi (Nominated), Anwar Loititip (Lamu) and Philip Salau (Nominated).

Gender variation

Male MPs dominate the list of poor performers with 16 out of the 19 who are yet to speak either on the floor of the House or during committee sessions during the current session.

Besides Sudi and Arama, the MPs include Abdi Tepo (Isiolo South), Abdi Shurie (Balambala) and Ahmed Gaal (Tarbaj).

Others include Johnson Naicca (Mumias West), Amin Deddy (Laikipia East), Geofrey King’ang’i (Mbeere South), James Gakuya (Embakasi North), George Aladwa (Makadara), John Owino (Awendo), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West), Gideon Konchella (Kilgoris), Justus Kizito (Shinyalu), Alfred Sambu (Webuye East) and James Mukwe of Kabuchai.

Rose Museo (Makueni), Beatrice Kones (Bomet East) and Amina Gedow (Mandera) are the female MPs also indicted for their deafening silence in the House.

Nominated MP David ole Sankok is ranked as the best performer having contributed 219 times during the current session.

Top performers

He is followed by Wilberforce Oundo (Funyula) who has spoken 183 times and Robert Pukose (Endebess) who has spoken 170 times and Benson Makali Mulu (Kitui Central) at 133 times.

In the Senate, Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina, Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Ochilo Ayako (Migori) and Getrude Musuruve (Nominated), are the best performers.

In terms of gender, MPs Millie Odhiambo (Suba North), Jacqueline Oduol and Jennifer Shamala, both nominated, Ruweida Obo (Lamu) and Sophia Noor (Ijara), are the top-performing women in the National Assembly.

Contacted for comment, Kitui Central MP Makali Mulu, who was ranked among the top three performers, said he was not shocked by the ratings since he is one of the most active members in the House.

“This comes from hard work, research and being available in the House most of the time.

I personally take a lot of my time in the chamber and contribute in areas where I have researched well,” he said.

But his Bahati counterpart Kimani Ngunjiri, who was rated among the worst performers having only spoken twice in the current session, dismissed the report as politically instigated to malign some lawmakers.

“The most important thing is what my constituents think about me. I have performed and the ground is good.

I was ranked at position 20 nationally in the utilisation of CDF. My record speaks volumes; the rest is just nonsense,” said Ngunjiri.

Odhiambo said through her Facebook page, “The primary role of an MP is legislation, oversight and representation. I am informed that I ranked top as best performing in Bunge.”

An analysis by counties shows the top five performing counties, on the basis of aggregated contributions of MPs from the devolved unit, to be Homa Bay, Trans Nzoia, Kericho, West Pokot and Bungoma in that order. Conversely, the bottom five counties are Garissa, Tana River, Turkana, Kwale and Narok.

According to the report, the aggregate performance of the 12th Parliament’s Third Session, measured against previous sessions, was the lowest.

Of the 116 Bills passed in the National Assembly only 24 were assented to, translating to about 21 per cent, the lowest in five years.

The Senate passed a total of 34 Bills, out of which only four were assented to, translating to a measly 12 per cent.

The political friendship between President Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga seems to have played a role in the poor performance by members.

“Coupled with the diminished role of the Opposition as a result of the Handshake and party co-operation across the political divide, the need to safeguard the independence and performance of Parliament cannot be gained,” says the report.

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