Dress code controversy in House as first UDA lawmaker sworn-in
Anthony Mwangi and Mercy Mwai
MPs allied to United Democratic Alliance (UDA) caused a storm in the chamber yesterday when they broke into song and dance during the swearing-in of Kiambaa MP John Njuguna, temporarily stopping proceedings.
Speaker Justin Muturi had to call the MPs to order and allow the day’s session to proceed but the overjoyed lawmakers continued with their celebratory song UDA na Kwa wa Winjiku song which has become synonymous with the new MP.
The pro-UDA legislators came clad in party colours, a decision that incensed Opposition colleagues who termed it an abuse of House Standing Orders.
Led by Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang’, the Opposition lawmakers protested the display of party colours in Parliament.
“This is Parliament where laws are made. Displaying party colours is in bad taste. I plead with you Mr Speaker to rule the members as unruly and out of order,” Kajwang’ said.
Wanjiku, who took oath of office in a brief ceremony presided over by Muturi, was escorted to the podium by Ichung’wah and Nyoro.
“I Wanjiku John Njuguna having been elected a member of the National Assembly do swear (in the name of the Almighty God and solemnly affirm that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the People and the Republic of Kenya; that I will obey, respect, uphold, preserve, protect and defend this Constitution of Kenya; and that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge the duties of a member of Parliament.
(So help me God),” Wanjiku read out the oath as his party colleagues broke into jubilation.
Wanjiku becomes the first elected MP of the party associated with Deputy President William Ruto. He beat Kariri Njama of Jubilee.
Kajwang’ hit out at Garissa Township MP Aden Duale whom he said despite being well conversant with the standing orders had succumbed to join his colleagues in dressing in party colours.
“The former Leader of Majority has also succumbed to the temptations of putting on colourful attires,” Kajwang’ joked.
However Duale hit back telling Kajwang’ to be prepared to seeing UDA members dressed in party colours more frequently.
“If the yellow attires are a problem to you then you will have to prepare yourself psychologically as they become the order of the day,” Duale said.
Nominated MP David Sankok wondered why some MPs found it strange with members adorning yellow attire, but had not raised issues with him despite the fact that he has been wearing colourful attire since he joined parliament.
“I don’t know why people are excited about this yellow colour. I have been wearing green attire, a colour associated with a small party known as Ford Kenya,” said Sankok.