National Assembly and Senate Speakers have summoned special sittings of their Houses on Monday to give the lawmakers a chance to mourn and condole with the family of the former President Daniel arap Moi, who died on Tuesday.
The two Speakers issued the summonses as military police took over the security of Parliament minutes after the government announced that Moi’s body will lie in-state at Parliament Buildings for three days from Saturday through Monday.
Following notices in two separate special editions of the Kenya Gazette published Thursday, the two Speakers acceded to requests from their respective majority leaders and ordered their members to attend the sittings slated for Monday afternoon.
Among the issues Garissa Township MP Aden Duale and Senator Kipchumba Murkomen want the two Houses to consider when they convene are procedural motions that if adopted will adjust the annual calendar of the two Houses and offer members of the National Assembly and Senate the opportunity to debate and offer special condolences to the former President’s long service in Parliament.
The lawmakers were to return from the long Christmas recess on Tuesday next week for the third session of the 12th Parliament, according to the calendars approved by both Houses last year.
However, in the wake of Moi’s death and the decision by the government to gazette Tuesday as a national holiday, both the National Assembly and Senate must alter their calendar, a process that can only be done through a procedural motion, according to Mr Duale.
Mr Duale wants the calendar altered from February 11 and for the record of the House to indicate the third session will start on Thursday, February 13.
Until his retirement in 2002, Mr Moi had served in Parliament for 47 continuous years, starting in 1955, when he became one of the first eight Africans to be elected to the White-dominated Legislative Council, popularly known as Legco.
“Following the Presidential proclamations of February 4, regarding the passing on of Kenya’s second President, Daniel arap Moi, the condolences of this House be recorded in honour of Moi’s long service to this House, his selfless and exemplary service to the republic, and for promoting good neighbourliness and stability in the region,” Mr Duale says in his motion.
The Senate motion is similar. However, Mr Murkomen wants senators to record their condolences “in honour of the late President’s service as a Statesman, Pan Africanist, MP, his contribution to national building and promotion of peace in Africa and the World”.
On Thursday, security agencies held a meeting at Parliament soon after the government announced that the body will lie in-state for three days.
Senior officials from the National Intelligence Service, National Police Service and the Kenya Defence Forces and parliamentary security held a meeting and developed a mechanism of securing the place ahead of the arrival of the body Saturday morning.
It was decided that the body will be placed in the National Assembly’s reception area in the foyer leading to the chamber from where the public will get a chance to view it.
However, there was panic after the military police asked Parliament staff, who had their cars parked in the open parking area, to remove them by late Thursday or risk the ignominy of the vehicles being towed away.
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