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Kenya 2022: Fistfights over the political parties amendment bill

By Jeff Otieno
Posted on Tuesday, 4 January 2022 09:05

Kenyan members of parliament maintain social distance amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 10 June 2021. REUTERS/Monicah Mwangi

A fistfight in parliament just before New Year’s Day revealed the high tensions in the succession battle to replace President Uhuru Kenyatta. Will the deep-seated rivalry between Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto plunge the country into another bout of election violence?

When minority party leader John Mbadi delivered a sucker-punch on his colleague Bernard Koros, leaving him with a cut below his right eye, many Kenyans were left doubting whether the battle to succeed Kenyatta will end peacefully.

The incident took place on 29 December during a special sitting of parliament to debate the contentious Political Parties Amendment Bill 2021 that seeks to, among other things, redefine the words ‘political party’ to include ‘coalition party’.

Kicks and blows