Speaker Muturi dares MPs to impeach him over remarks on BBI report
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has dared Members of Parliament to impeach him following his remarks that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report cannot be introduced for debate in the National Assembly.
In a press briefing on Monday, Muturi insisted that House standing orders do not allow the BBI report unveiled last week by President Uhuru Kenyatta to be introduced in Parliament in its current form.
“What is it coming to parliament to do? Is it a white paper or government policy document..? It is none of those. Until the owners of the document decide that, yes, it can go to parliament,” said Muturi.
According to the Speaker, the BBI report is a product of the Executive arm of government, therefore it can only be allowed for debate in Parliament as a government policy document from the Executive through the President’s address.
“This is just a report. It is very embryonic in terms of being a legislative document. But remember whichever method, parliamentary initiative or popular initiative from the people — just like Punguza Mizigo was — , the due process is there,” said Muturi.
At the same time, the Speaker noted that the report could also find its way to Parliament in form of a Bill that will be tabled in the county assemblies for consideration before being introduced to the National Assembly and Senate.
“As it is now, even if there are propositions in that report that could lead to suggestions to amend some parts of Constitution, those proposals have not been reduced into anything that one can talk about legislation. If a time comes that there is need, even if it’s by popular initiative, the process is there,” added Muturi.
The Speaker triggered a political stir on Sunday when he first announced that the BBI report cannot be currently introduced in Parliament.
“It has no way of coming to Parliament… You know before it comes to Parliament, then I must approve, but I’ve said it belongs to the people and it has no route to Parliament,” said Muturi at a church fundraiser in Migori.
In response to the Speaker’s remarks, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria said: “Why Justin Muturi would allow himself to be bribed with a tilapia meal by John Mbadi in Migori to rule out a parliamentary route for BBI is a mystery for me. Today (Monday) I will start collecting signatures to impeach him.”
Muturi has, however, rubbished the impeachment threats.
“For impeachment I even made it easier to remove a speaker… as soon as that motion lands on my desk to be approved for debate, I will make sure there will be no other business to be transacted. So if anyone has such a motion bring it immediately and it will be on the order paper tomorrow,” said the Speaker.
Meanwhile, political leaders remain divided on whether the BBI report should take the Parliamentary route or be subjected to a referendum.
On one hand Deputy President William Ruto and his supporters are in favour of the parliamentary route while Opposition leader Raila Odinga wants a people-centred initiative.