The 11 MPs from North Eastern Kenya who travelled to Somalia on Saturday will not be punished, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi has ruled.
Mr Muturi said that although Standing Order 260 requires members of the House traveling outside the country, whether in official or private capacity, to seek permission from the Speaker, it does not provide sanctions for those who flout it.
“Whereas there are no sanctions against members who fail to inform the Speaker whenever they travel out of the country, I urge you to live up to the spirit of Chapter Six of the Constitution,” Mr Muturi told the House.
The requirement to notify the Speaker is a matter of civility, and to ensure that the Office of the Speaker can account for the whereabouts of any MP who is out of the country.
The legislators, who travelled to Somalia are Ahmed Kolosh (Wajir West), Ibrahim Abdi (Lafey), Rashid Kassim (Wajir East), Mohamed Hire (Lagdera) and Omar Maalim (Mandera East). Others are Bashir Abdullahi (Mandera North), Adan Haji (Mandera West), Kullow Maalim (Banisa), Adan Ali Sheikh (Mandera South), Ahmed Bashane (Tarbaj) and Mohamed Dahir (Dadaab).
Although Mr Bashir said that they met Somalia President Abdullahi Faarmajo over the escalating insecurity in the region due to Al-Shabaab attacks, it is also claimed that they met the head of the Somalia National Intelligence Agency, a claim they have denied.
Interior secretary Muriithi Kangi, who spoke at JKIA after the MPs’ interrogation, said that the MPs should have sought approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before traveling.
Despite the MPs claiming their trip was motivated following a challenge by President Uhuru Kenyatta on the need to address security situation in the volatile region that has since seen schools close down as Al Shabaab targets nonlocal teachers, Mr Muturi was of a different view.
Despite the MPs claiming their trip was the result of a challenge by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the region’s leaders to help deal with insecurity, Mr Muturi said theirs was not a parliamentary delegation.
“A parliamentary delegation is formally constituted and officially communicated to the foreign country which is scheduled to be visited through my office or that of the Clerk of the National Assembly ,” he said, noting that such delegations are either fully or partially funded by the National Assembly.
By Daily Nation