'I am still in Azimio,' Esther Passaris says after voting in support of Finance Bill
Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris has come out to rubbish claims of her alleged dalliance with Kenya Kwanza, maintaining that she is still a member of the opposition Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition party.
Passaris, who spoke outside Parliament after the 2023/2024 Finance Year Budget Reading on Thursday, refuted claims that she had ditched the Raila Odinga-led coalition following her stand during the voting of the proposed Finance Bill, 2023 which was tabled in the House for the Second Reading on Wednesday evening.
The County MP voted in favour of the Bill, going against the stand of both the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party under whose ticket she was elected, as well as the Azimio coalition to which she belongs.
“Mimi bado niko Azimio na niko ODM, nimekuwa ODM tangu 2007; na nimesupport Baba na pia ametusupport sisi kama candidates,” she said.
The MP defended her decision to support the controversial Bill contrary to her faction’s position, arguing that as an elected lawmaker, she is a representative of both those who voted for her and those who did not.
She consequently alluded that backing the Bill would also guarantee resources such as the National Government Affirmative Action Fund (NGAAF), CDF and also infrastructural developments for her people.
“I want to tell Kenyans; both those who voted for me and those who did not, immediately we are sworn in as MPs, we swear to work for everyone, not only those who voted for us,” she noted.
“Huwezi kusema wale ambao wamekaa hapa wa Kenya Kwanza hawafikirii watu wao. We are thinking about our people they are thinking about their own.”
Passaris added: “What I want to say is that we can’t work without money. Our country has got a long journey. We don’t want austerity measures to be brought by lenders. We have to stand so that as the other MPs from both sides demand CDF, NGAAF and ask for roads or hospitals, that requires money.”
During the heated debate on Wednesday night, Passaris voted in support of the bill that is strongly opposed by Azimio to help it sail through with 176 MPs in support against 81 who opposed it.
The aftermath of the voting exercise has seen the Raila-led ODM party call for disciplinary action against all its MPs who voted for the Bill, as well as those who were absent in the House during the voting.
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, in a statement to newsrooms on Thursday, said show-cause letters had been written to the 28 members, who include Passaris, Lang’ata MP Phelix ‘Jalang’o Odiwuor, and his Embakasi East counterpart Babu Owino.
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