From Sugar Chronicles to Balling in the Toilet: Ugly Side of Kenya’s Parliament in 2018


The year 2018 was an interesting one for the 12th August House.

Key to note was the activities which unfolded when Parliament passed amendments to the Finance Act which ushered high fuel prices.

The House was also awash with claims of open bribery in the sugar probe. This saw male MPs visiting ladies’ toilets to ascertain the truth on the claims.

In July 2017, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi warned MPs against misconduct during committee sessions.

This followed claims of bribery and concerns by Majority Leader Aden Duale that their conduct is inappropriate.

MPs had been accused of jumping into matters under probe, either by the EACC or the DCI, with the aim of seeking favours.

On sugar, MPs ganged up to trash a committee report that had implicated Cabinet secretaries Henry Rotich (Treasury), Adan Mohamed (EAC), and former Agriculture CS Willy Bett.

In the most ignoble scene yet, lawmakers were seen openly scrambling for Sh30,000 which was allegedly dished out minutes before an afternoon sitting so that members shoot down the report.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the DCI were called to investigate the claims that some lawmakers were bribed to shoot down a report on contraband sugar.

The National Assembly’s Powers and Privileges Committee led by Speaker Justin Muturi concluded that MPs might have been bribed.

The committee said it reviewed videos and newspaper reports about the bribery claims. The team also listened to witnesses and scrutinised evidence presented.

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