Video:Drama as ‘Al-Shabaab’ remark sparks anger in Parliament

The Opposition reacted with fury last evening after Majority Leader Aden Duale accused Cord of “speaking the same language as Al-Shabaab” in opposing the deployment of the Kenya Defence Forces in Lamu and asking for their withdrawal from Somalia.

Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso appeared to lose control of the House as the House degenerated into near-pandemonium, with MPs from both sides pointing at each other, as Cord representatives demanded the ejection of Mr Duale for making the statements.

REQUEST OF THE POLICE

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The matter started when the Majority Leader said the sending of the Kenya Defence Forces to Lamu County was approved by the Cabinet on the request of the police.

Long after the House had moved to another order, Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo revived the matter, repeating the demand by Cord to have Kenyan soldiers withdrawn from Somalia. “We did not send our boys to Kismayu to collect taxes. Bring them back,” he said.

It was at this point that Mr Duale asserted that by asking for the withdrawal of KDF from Somalia, Cord was echoing Al-Shabaab’s demand. “They are speaking the same language,” he said.

The remark provoked furious responses from the Cord side, whose members wanted Mr Duale ordered out of the chambers as Dr Laboso declared Mr Duale out of order.

“It is on record that we have a terrorist party. The least you can do is ask him to withdraw,” Mr Midiwo said.

“Don’t be silly,” Mr Duale replied before Dr Laboso stepped in and accused Mr Midiwo of doing the same thing he wanted Mr Duale expelled for.

She then ordered that the exchange between members from both sides be expunged from the Hansard — the written records of the House.

Earlier, the National Security Committee chairman Asman Kamama accused Cord of being unpatriotic.

“When they say we should withdraw the army from Somalia and they are also saying that we should not deploy them locally, I think they are saying… would I be in order to declare that Cord is not patriotic? What are they up to?” he said, eliciting a furious response from Cord.

So emotional was the debate that Mr Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba, ODM) was ordered out for the rest of the day for heckling, while Ms Millie Odhiambo-Mabona (Mbita, ODM) left the House in a huff.

HUMAN SUFFERING

When the next matter on the agenda was called, there were less than 50 MPs in the chambers and business had to end due to lack of quorum.

Earlier, Mr Duale had informed the House that the KDF was posted to Lamu because the attacks there were widespread and characterised by extreme brutality, leading to immense human suffering.

This necessitated use of equipment only in the possession of the KDF.

He said the police needed the support of the KDF and had asked for it to contain the emergency “in a very limited form”.

This would be in the use of aircraft, a minimal Special Forces unit and the use of night-vision equipment only used by the KDF.

-nation.co.ke

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