A fierce legal battle is brewing between Parliament and Law Society of Kenya (LSK) over the conduct of business that is now becoming a game of wits after Kwale Woman Representative Zuleikha Hassan was shown the door from parliamentary proceedings on Wednesday.
In a press statement issued on Friday, August 9, by clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai replying to LSK’s press statement, both have gone for each other’s collar with each side claiming the other is irresponsible and urging each to mind about their businesses.
Sialai told off LSK arguing that of late it has abrogated itself to the power of policing Parliament even when no law has given them that imagined role and that why don’t they allow their lawyers to conduct businesses as each one wishes.
But in an exclusive interview with Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire differed with Sialai sharply terming it chauvinistic behavior which has sunk in Parliament and there should be proper laws to determine what happens if a male MP is left with suckling kid.
“A kid is born out of men’s contributions, why are we burying our heads into the sand,” Mwambire noted.
Even as the clerk and Mwingi Central MP Charles Nguna termed Zuleikha’s bold move as gross misconduct and appalling, LSK is now calling the legislative house to lead by an example of morality.
“It is unfortunate for LSK to issue an alarming statement without ascertaining facts on what transpired in the chamber on August 7. We note with regret that of late LSK is becoming busybody to say the least,” read Sialai’s statement.
The society condemned removal of the lawmaker from the House sessions demanding apologies from MPs to Zuleikha and the society.
In a statement issued on Friday, August 9, LSK said the MP and her infant were handled in an inhumane manner and there was need to address the rights of breastfeeding mothers to work.
On a quick rejoinder, Sialai confirmed Parliament had facilities for lactating members and staff with a baby care unit.
“Parliamentary Service Commission has gone out of it’s way to treat all members equally and provide services and facilities that uphold the Constitution, dignity and rule of law to the members and staff,” he said.
He further added the standing orders of the assembly obligates the speaker of any house of Parliament to order any member who conducts himself or herself disorderly manner to get out of the chambers.
The society issued a stern warning to Parliament demanding it to be at the forefront by providing conducive work environment to it’s breastfeeding staff.
This comes barely seven years after PSC passed a bill in August 2013, which required government institutions as well as private firms to set a lactating room for breastfeeding mothers, travel with their care givers when going for sittings and meetings besides a room.