Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday skipped Parliament where he was scheduled to issue a statement on the controversial reinstatement of Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula. Through a statement sent to House Speaker Kenneth Marende, the PM said he could not attend the afternoon session as he had to attend to other government business. Mr Marende however directed the PM to issue the statement on Thursday afternoon, despite a plea by Mr Odinga to deliver it on September 14. The House Speaker argued that the matter had raised a lot of public interest and there was need to clarify and quell concerns raised regarding the reappointment. “The House does not put any business on the Order Paper, particularly government business, unless the government says it is ready to transact that business. So for us to put that on the order paper, we must have received information from the Prime Minister that he would be ready to give the statement today,” he argued. “So there is no excuse for him not to issue the statement tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti was ordered by the Speaker to inform the PM of the directive. Although he tried to defend the PM’s whereabouts, Prof Saitoti was reminded that the Speaker’s directive would not be altered. Prof Saitoti explained that the PM was busy preparing for a regional summit that kicks off on September 9 arguing that it was taking up a lot of his time.
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