Speaker Justin Muturi’s Bigoted Ethnic Slurs Point to Rotten Kenyan Leadership

In commonwealth countries, parliamentary speakers play a crucial role. In order to ensure the orderly flow of business, the national assembly observes parliamentary rules, procedures and traditions, both written and unwritten.

It is the Speaker’s duty to interpret these rules IMPARTIALLY , to remain NEUTRAL in government and opposition debates, to maintain ORDER, and to DEFEND the rights and privileges of Members, including the right to FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

In order to preserve the trust of the House, the Speaker’s must uphold the sanctity of the national assembly; and his actions and utterances must be impartial.

Consequently, the Speaker never participates in debate nor allow the use unparliamentary language on the floor of the house. The Speaker may only vote in case of a tie during division. The speaker works to balance the right of the Government to transact business in an orderly manner and the right of all Members to be heard in debate.

It all seems civil and clear cut until you happen to tune to Kenya parliamentary live debates! Yup. The curse that is the Jubilee tyranny of numbers.

Kenyans do not seem to be shocked to have received news reports of Speaker Justin Muturi shouting down Kibra Member of Parliament Hon. Kenneth Okoth during live parliamentary debate yesterday: “This is not Kibera!” As if to assert the Speaker’s unfortunate comment, the Majority Leader Hon Aden Duale finished it off by yelling “it is not Kibera and we are not selling fish!”

Welcome to the land of Jubilee dominated parliament, where the insanity of ethnic innuendos, insults and tribal imputations are in abundance! Mind you, it is not the first time Speaker has used these offensive words in parliament while supressing the rights of the Honourable Member of Kibra. He has made it a habit. Instead of leading parliamentary debate towards legislating ways to help citizens improve their lives and attain better levels of development; Speaker Muturi is leading parliament to lowering its own prestige in the eyes of the public and propagating anti-Luo garbage. Instead of enforcing rules, Speaker violates them! Can Kenyans expect quality legislation?

The implication here is that parliament is not Kibera slums (where the honourable member was born and bred, and represents in parliament). The speaker’s derogatory remarks are aimed straight at Kibra voters where he assumes the majority of residents are from the Luo ethnic community whose common delicacy is fish, and according to Duale where parliament is not a fish market. Reminds us of Amos Kimunya of the past.

The Speaker not only violated parliamentary custom and standing orders, but also unwittingly let out an extremely dangerous inflammatory statement on the floor of the house which was only made worse by the majority leader. These are the silly stereotypes against poor communities more often promoted in political circles that majority Luos inhabiting Kibera slums are generally idle/lazy, drunk/drugged, diseased/unhealthy and violent/criminal slum-dwellers. Nothing could be further from the truth. All communities of Kenya live in Kibera and all communities of Kenya do sell and eat fish. So much for ignorance and silly stereotyping!

On a personal level, knowing who Hon. Kenneth Okoth is even before he became MP, this is a young man who has achieved a lot and given back so much to his community. It will be impossible for either Muturi or Dualle to achieve half of what the MP has attained.

In developed democracies, Speaker Muturi’s utterances are enough reason to demand a resignation. But in Kenya, he will be defended by people who wont see anything wrong with his reckless talk. They would tell you Muturi is doing a great job leading an institution promoting a common national heritage!

But WHAT IF it was Raila who shouted at Ngunjiri, “this is not Majengo (Nyeri slums), and Ababu sums it “and we don’t treat jigger infestations here!”? Jibu hiyo…

4 comments on “Speaker Justin Muturi’s Bigoted Ethnic Slurs Point to Rotten Kenyan Leadership

  1. The Speaker who believes his opinions are the law and truth

    National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi. NATION MEDIA GROUP

    To the Senate, the matter of how the two Houses would determine yearly revenue allocation to counties was settled by the Supreme Court a fortnight ago.

    But in the mind of National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, the Supreme Court has no right to interfere with matters in the Legislature.

    Six days after the Supreme Court ruled on the tussle between the Senate and the National Assembly over the Division of Revenue Bill, Mr Muturi held that the verdict, seen as key to determining the role of the Senate, would have no implications over the House he runs.

    “Whatever the court said is their own position as we are going on with the business of making laws and we know what we are supposed to do as we are guided by the Constitution,” the Speaker said.

    He would reinforce the statement later that day as MPs debated the report of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee recommending that the President appoints a tribunal to investigate six members of the Judicial Service Commission a petitioner wants removed from office.

    Justice George Odunga had issued orders that Parliament should not discuss the petition by Mr Riungu Nicholas Mugambi or present a report to the National Assembly over the matter.

    Without an MP asking him for a ruling, the Speaker declared that “it has never happened that somebody in their right minds would take the Parliament of the Republic of Kenya to court.”

    With that, Mr Muturi effectively declared that the National Assembly would not listen to anybody else.

    His disdain for the Senate was evident last Thursday when Majority Leader Aden Duale informed members of the joint committees on Equal Opportunity and that on Broadcasting that elections for their leaders would be held next Thursday regardless of the possible absence of Senators.

    Eight months later, those two committees remain moribund because the two Houses cannot agree.


    “I hope our colleagues from the counties will also have time from their busy schedule in the counties. The Senate had no sessions the last two days because they were busy in the counties so I hope that next week, they will be in the city and help our colleagues from the National Assembly to conduct their elections for the two joint committees,” Mr Duale said.

    The Speaker then chipped in: “Of course people must perform their roles as provided for in the Constitution, including visiting the villages. We need quality pre-primary schools and when, as a country, we can’t debate at the national level, the debate must be informed. I think it’s a worthwhile venture that they are involved in,” he said.

    Dr Adams Oloo of the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Nairobi says that while the Speaker rightly claims the separation of powers makes him right, the more appropriate doctrine here ought to be mutual control and accountability.

    “The Speaker has so far, according to me, appeared activist. He sees himself as the leader and defender of Parliament,” he said.

    While they have been uncomfortable with the way the Speaker handles them in the chambers, some Cord MPs have elected to complain quietly for fear the Speaker would use his privileges to hit back.

    With a direct role in the approval of requests for statements, approval for trips abroad, the paying of per diems for those trips plus his role as chair of the powerful Parliamentary Service Commission, the Speaker is virtually untouchable.

    Privately, many MPs admire the manner in which he dealt with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission in the negotiations for increased pay at the start of the current session.

    This ended with MPs earning better than their predecessors and the SRC sufficiently subdued.

    The natural thing has been to compare Mr Muturi with Kenneth Marende, his predecessor, and the man he beat at the elections for the position.

    “You cannot compare this Speaker to the previous one. Mr Marende used to make very reasonable opinions so that even if you disagreed with a ruling, you’d be persuaded by its logic. This one picks up the law and reads the word without the spirit,” said Dr Oloo.

    So concerned has the Executive become about the National Assembly’s stubbornness that the President, through his spokesman, has expressed a need for the Chief Justice to meet the Speaker.

    Some Cord MPs feel he is unfair to them and rarely gives them a chance to contribute to debate. He has also been rather harsh with some, such as Kibra MP Kenneth Okoth, who he told on Wednesday last week: “This is not Kibera. You should not shout across the House.”


    The Speaker caused laughter the following day when he said two MPs were kissing in the chambers.

    The Hansard recorded him saying, “Hon Members, those of you who are kissing – the new Member for Kibwezi East, stop kissing in the House or whatever it is that you are doing with the Member for Kikuyu, who has just walked out. That kind of embrace is uncalled for.”

    Those who spoke to the Sunday Nation, however, recoiled when asked to go on record requesting not to be quoted for fear of what retribution may follow them to the House.

    “Honestly we are frustrated. I can’t go on like this,” lamented one of the upset MPs.

    At some point the aggrieved MPs had considered a motion of no confidence in Mr Muturi after claiming that he had become intolerable. He had also thrown journalists out of the media centre.

    There are claims by some members that the Speaker has openly insulted them and told them off “like kids”.

    They have also claimed the Speaker openly takes sides on some issues and sometimes appears to be giving a contribution to matters before the House.

    On Thursday last week during debate on the Justice and Legal Affairs report of the Judicial Service Commission, several members claimed that they tried in vain to catch the Speaker’s eye throughout the period of debate.


    In the past, catching the Speaker’s eye meant standing up immediately a member finished contributing. The Speaker would then pick any of the members standing.

    With the introduction of the electronic system, however, members insert their electronic cards and press the relevant buttons to seek the Speaker’s attention. It is the Speaker’s discretion to allow any of the members to contribute.

    The Speaker and his Deputy, Dr Joyce Laboso, have previously indicated that it can be difficult handling the numerous requests coming to the chair.

    On some occasions, the Speakers are confronted with a situation where too many members want to speak on an issue, and have repeatedly indicated that it is not always possible to have all members speak.

    The Speakers indicate that they also find themselves in a tricky situation where they are expected to balance party, regional and gender representation within given time limits.

    Just last week, the Speaker threw back at Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao some papers he had tabled during debate on the Land and Delegated Legislation committees’ joint report on irregular appointments by Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu.

    It is on this particular day that Mr Muturi commented: “I can see several members looking at me as if I have committed the biggest sin on earth,” after some members openly displayed their dejection at not getting a chance to speak on the matter.

    Some MPs have been heard complaining about suffering ridicule in the Speaker’s office where they had gone with requests for approval of statements or matters they intended to raise on the floor of the House which required the Speaker’s approval.

    One MP claimed the Speaker tore into pieces a request he had presented to him in his office for approval and gave him a reprimanding lecture.



  2. The Speaker epitomises low class, under educated, hyper rural bigotry, like an American hillbilly who is surprised by sudden fame. Duale, of course is an eternal choir boy who echoes in soprano whatever song is being sang to the stars. It is so unfortunate that the country is afflicted with this chinless, ball-less creatures who stoop into the swamp to kiss butts, who cannot spell nobility or pretend to be real men who share ideas, express vision and have a spine. I pity the poor women who married them. They must be cringing in secret shame.


  3. Phil,
    The problem is that the speaker not an honorable member, for if he were, he would never ever use such a language in or outside parliament. The man is a pure tribalist who feels happy in the company of other ethic chauvinists like Duale.
    Can you imagine Hon Marende shouting those unspeakable words in parliament? Never. Have you ever had any other speaker in the history of the republic spew such ethnic diarrhea? Never. But here we are with a Jubilee speaker who does not understand his role. Infact his very behaviour shows us that something is wrong with him, mentally.

    But more surprising is that our zombie journalist who sit in parliament day in day our have not seen the need to lift up this matter in the public domain. Nor have they attempted to analyse the man’s reckless behaviour bordering on insanity.
    Why do you think that he picks on a first time young Luo legislator representing Kibra? Why can’t he face the likes of Orengo, Anyang Nyongo or even Jakoyo Midiwo if he has problems with Luos? Does he fear his fire being answered by even more fire, hence his picking on and constantly insulting Kenneth Okoth and his Constituents? Or is this the way Muturi and Duale are showing Uhuru Kenyatta their loyalty?

    What a bunch of butt-dancing, boot-licking, sissified and half-baked human beings.


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