Five things we learnt from Parliament this week

David Njuguna Mwaura Kiburi is too consistent for comfort

He arrives in Parliament on time, leaves his valuables at the searjent-at-arms, strides to the chambers, adjusts his spectacles, as they are in the habit of leaning too much to the left and takes his place at the third row of the seats on the right side of the Speaker’s chair, on the left as you walk in.
He will routinely be seen to lean over and chat with his neighbor, cast a critical eye at the Order Paper, one ear attuned to the goings-on at the seats below him and those opposite his vantage point, and then, when the matter is weighty enough, to rise on a point of order.
But we would notice him more and quote him some more in the news pages were he not a very dull person, for who else but a very dull person begins his sentences thus: “While commending the honourable minister for that very detailed answer….”
The MP for Lari is a consistent man, almost to the point where we begin to suspect that he is a military man, but consistency is the sort that gets you angry.
Speaker Kenneth Marende must have suffered the same irritation as we have from the confines of the media centre, for he rounded on David Njuguna Mwaura Kiburi when he made one more attempt at this consistency last Tuesday.
We reproduce the Hansard here by way of proof that our aim is neither to ridicule nor to condemn but to laugh quietly.

Mr. Njuguna: Mr. Speaker, Sir, thanking the Assistant Minister for the brief
answer that he has given—
Mr. Speaker: Order, Member for Lari! You know the Assistant Minister had
already been thanked by Ambassador Affey. So, try from now on, not to repeat the
thanking. Proceed!

We are now informed that the Member for Lari is not very happy about that episode.
We are pretty sure he is the only one that’s unhappy.

Family ties are thick in Kasarani

Tuesday morning found the matronly half of the Masha family seated at County Hall, resplendent in a maternity dress and matching headgear and happy, as it was smiling at the room, the colleagues in it and the younger brother seated across the room.
County Hall was expectant with the feeling that precedes a meeting of the great persons on the CIOC with any nominee, and the Masha there must have stirred, if not at the filial kick in her belly by the Masha she has been carrying therein, then at the fraternal feeling of sitting across from the younger brother presenting himself to a session with the vets.
It was by some standards a good day for the root family of this half of the Masha family and as we stop and contemplate the scene, a cloud passes over the green fields, for we hear the juggernaut of justice rolling our way.
Or rather, the way of the paternal half of the Masha family, which was at that moment probably ensconced between two robbers in one of the narrow basement cells at the Milimani Law Courts, which we imagine have begun to acquire the smell familiar to basement cells.
The paternal Masha, was soon dragged before an officer of the State, and accused of unlawfully taking so much money from the State, and therefore deserving seven years in jail.
Of course, we assume that half is innocent of taking money from the CDF account of the constituency represented by the maternal half and that everything will go swimmingly well.
But then we see the charge sheet, which informs us that the maternal half of the Masha family is one of the key witnesses for the State in that case.
The whole affair brought to mind the fine Sunday evening the maternal half of the Masha family harangued me for picking up some information about its alleged physical assault on the paternal half and calling for a clarification.
Shortly after that, I called the paternal half and it begged me seriously not to put a word down until we had spoken and it had explained how a simple blackout from too much tipple would have required three days in hospital, one of them at the Intensive Care Unit.

Spy tendencies, and spy blunders, never really go away

Books inspired by the Cold War inform us that spy agencies are very clever, especially when they desire to find out what information has been coming to those it likes to keep an eye on.
They have the ability to listen to your private conversations, log on to your email accounts, look through your timeline on Twitter and even befriend you on Facebook and read messages on your mobile phone even before you switch it on.
In the 1980s, they were perhaps very adept at taking letters out of boxes at the post office, opening them using steam and then resealing them and later returning them to your box.
Well, by the account given by Medical Services minister Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, they are not very adept at doing that, so many years after we stopped using letters as a primary medium of communication.
According to the very Dickensian story narrated by the ODM secretary-general and firebrand, not only was the NSIS agent caught at the box, with his hands on his letters, the police were also not very clever at it.
We shall say nothing at his projections on that theme, but we have surely learnt that there are people who are interested in his letters.

There is more than one word for sycophant

The storm we promised here last week did blow through Parliament this week, not because we are very good prophets but because the Prime Minister is allowed 45 minutes every week to address MPs.
And boy were they waiting for him this time, the more because he had some long-awaited explaining to do.
Soon after he read his statement, and the clarifications began, the stage manager switched on the red lights, cued the music, did a little drumming and the play within the play began.
The 45-minute session went for more than double the time, the familiar stood on points of order, fire was summoned upon some by others, some wished that others were swept away in floods, but we still found that Parliament does not allow certain words.
So the next time someone disputes your assertion that they belong to the ass-kissers category, just tell them, as Kabando wa Kabando said, that they are simply “exceedingly and excessively loyal to the extent of being blind”.

A lot of noise is made during weekends

Reading the papers on Monday, one would have imagined that the nominees to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission would be rejected outright.
William Ruto was however heard somewhere in there saying that with the process of getting new commissioners having gone so far, it would be impossible to reverse it.
Nevertheless, Silas Muriuki, Mihika Linturi and Dr Boni Khalwale swore they would vote to reject that list.
They did not froth at the mouth but they swore it must happen.
At the appropriate time last Thursday, only Mwangi Kiunjuri protested, and because his protests are usually carried out without a lot of lobbying beforehand, they went unheard.
The list of nominees is now on its way to the house on the Hill, and the men and women on their way to Anniversary Towers.

*************
At the time of writing this, I’m waiting for the commencement of yet another assignment. It could be a tough one but all signs are that it will be a good one.

We might have another stage for our five things to learn when this blog is next updated, and to say that we are not looking forward to it is to lie to you and to ourselves.
And you know what tragic things follow when one begins to lie to himself.

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