The President Uhuru Kenyatta allied wing of the ruling Jubilee party has agreed to kick out lieutenants of Deputy President William Ruto from committees believed crucial for the passage of the envisaged Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional reforms.
The Committee on Selection is set to meet this afternoon to approve a new committee membership list prepared by Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and his Minority counterpart Junet Mohamed (Suna East).If everything goes as planned, this will pave the way for endorsement of the new members by the House during a special sitting on Wednesday.
An angry Uhuru is said to have given the National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya a dressing-down over why he had retained some of the de-whipped Tangatanga MPs in powerful committees. He specifically reportedly took issue with Kikuyu MP Mr Kimani Ichung’wah being proposed to the Finance and Planning Committee.
Ichung’wah, who was discharged from the Budget and Appropriations Committee, is among Ruto’s most vocal supporters in central Kenya and is viewed as a thorn in the flesh of Jubilee party loyalists.
Other Tangatanga-allied MPs from the region set to lose their nominations are Nyandarua Woman Representative Faith Gitau (Environment and Natural Resources) and Nyeri Woman Representative Rahab Mukami (Trade). Gladys Shollei (Uasin Gishu) and Alice Wahome (Kandara) are also likely to lose their slots in the Committee on Delegated Legislation due to their opposition to the BBI process.
Tharaka MP George Gitonga could also lose his slot in the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC), which is crucial to the constitutional reforms process.
Ugenya MP David Ochieng’ is also set to be replaced from the Health Committee following complaints by ODM.
The opposition party had also protested the memberships of the Finance, Education and Broadcasting committees. Jubilee has donated the chairperson slots for the three committees to ODM, with fear that Tangatanga was seeking to vote one of their own to chair the committees.
National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi said yesterday: “Kimunya withdrew the committee list last week after the minority side raised concerns over Jubilee’s membership. I am happy we are now tagging along well after our demands were met.”
Last week, Mr Kimunya met with Junet to resolve the standoff.
“We are both satisfied that the harmonized list captures the spirit of the House business into the future, in line with the vision of the party leaders,” said Kimunya following the meeting.
ODM is said to have settled on Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga to chair the Finance and Planning Committee, while her Busia counterpart Florence Mutua will chair the Education Committee.The party has further settled on Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo as the new vice chairperson of JLAC, while Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma serves as CIOC vice chairperson.