Kenyans risk being jailed for 12 months or paying Sh2 million for failing to refer to an MP as ‘Honorable’ when addressing him or her.
A proposed law seeking to bring order in addressing public officials in State functions prescribes tougher penalties for those who break the rule.
The same applies to those who fail to refer to the President as ‘Your Excellency, the Speaker as ‘The Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament’ and a judge of the Supreme Court ‘Your Lordship’.
The Order of Precedence Bill, 2014 prepared by Eldas MP Adan Keynan said the titles will promote the image of the country by instituting order in State functions.
“The principle purpose of this Bill is to promote the good image of the country, foster orderliness, discipline and decorum in the processes of governance,” the proposed law says in its memorandum of objects and reasons.
As the fight between MPs, and governors returns, the county bosses will now only be addressed as ‘The Governor’ whereas the Chief Justice is to be called ‘Your Lordship the Chief Justice’.
“It is further aimed at providing a yardstick for determining the proper position of all officers, their seniority and hierarchy for the purpose of state functions,” the Bill brought for its First Reading on Thursday, said.
The Bill also proposes a hierarchy for State officials according to seniority.
The ranking of the public officials will see MPs placed higher than governors, Supreme Court judges, former Presidents and Vice-Presidents.