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MPs Approve KDF Deployment Amid Controversy

The National Assembly has approved the deployment of Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in support of the police in the ongoing countrywide protests against the Finance Bill, 2024.

The approval was made on Wednesday during a special sitting that has however elicited controversy on its legal basis and the manner in which it was conducted.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo took to social media to state that the sitting occurred without media coverage as is the norm in past proceedings.

It is also unclear if the members had a proper quorum in line with the Constitution which requires 50 members in the National Assembly.

Amollo alleged that in 30 minutes, Parliament unanimously authorised the deployment of the military before breaking for recess.

The Constitution dictates that the government must seek the approval of the National Assembly before military deployment.

“And, Without Media, Without Most Members, Without Proper Debate, In A Record 30Mins, National Assembly Has Just Made Kenya A Military State; Authorizing Deployment Of KDF Without Indicating Where, Why Or For What Period, & Did So Retrospectively Contrary to Article 241(3)(c). God Bless Us,” Amollo stated on his X platform.

Further, critics have raised concerns about how MPs can convene without a mace which symblises the authority and dignity of the House. The mace was seized during the protests in Parliament precincts on Tuesday. In the absence of a mace, no formal business can be transacted.

Kenyans also have raised questionson why the deployment was first gazetted before approved by Parliament.

MPs are now set to break for recess on Wednesday and resume regular sittings on Tuesday, July 23.

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