Senators have demanded a statement from the handlers of protocol at a funeral attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, where they say Speaker Ekwee Ethuro was “humiliated and embarrassedâ€.
The senators targeted Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua for attack after he allegedly declined to recognise and grant Ethuro a chance to offer a message of condolence, on behalf of the House, to the family of Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko during the burial of his father, Gideon Kioko.
Angry senators said the move by Mr Mutua not to grant the Senate Speaker a chance to address the mourners, despite being notified to do so, was meant to humiliate and embarrass Ethuro. President Kenyatta was among the mourners who attended the burial in Machakos county. “I will personally pursue this matter for Senate to be told who directed and encouraged the Speaker of the Senate to be demeaned.
We cannot allow the Speaker of this House to be humiliated in public,” said Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki. Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula said it was such demeaning behaviour of Mutua.
“Mutua is known for his cheap theatrics. His unbecoming behaviour and demeaning the Speaker of the Senate is an affront to the dignity of the office of the Speaker,” said Wetang’ula. Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen said he had asked Mutua to recognise Ethuro’s presence, but the governor declined and instead invited former MPs Wavinya Ndeti and Kalembe Ndile to address mourners.
Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi termed Mutua’s action unfortunate, even as he hailed the Senate Speaker over the humility with which he handled the “embarrassing moment”. “I would only encourage the Speaker to borrow from the Bible and forgive this man for he knows not what he was doing,” said Mr Kiraitu. Ethuro directed Prof Kindiki to give the statement in a week’s time.