Most NASA lawmakers and the Judiciary have boycotted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Tuesday address for the opening of the 12th Parliament .
Only one NASA legislator – Webuye East’s Alfred Sambu of Amani National Congress – is attending the function.
The Opposition legislators had threatened to stage a “mass no-show”. Minority whip-designate Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) led calls to “empty-chair” Uhuru, saying they cannot sit and listen to a lame-duck President.
“We as members of NASA, and myself for that matter, find it politically untenable to sit in Parliament and listen to a person against whom my party leader is competing,” he said.
A spot check by The Star also indicated Supreme Court representatives were nowhere to be seen.
The Judiciary representatives gave the sitting a wide berth despite the reservation of seats for them.
Members of the clergy began with a word of prayer, which featured peace in the fresh October 17 presidential election. They included Anglican Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit.
Also present are a number of diplomats, independent MPs, Cabinet Secretaries Najib Balala (Tourism), Eugene Wamalwa (Water), Fred Matiang’i (acting Interior, Education), Henry Rotich (Treasury), Mwangi Kiunjuri (Devolution) and several public service heads.
Uhuru said on Monday that a boycott by NASA wouldn’t matter and that Jubilee leaders would carry on with business including passing bills.
“Boycott ukae nyumbani (Stay at home). The people who will lose are the people you present because their issues will not be articulated,” he told the Opposition led by his rival Raila Odinga, who is NASA presidential candidate.