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Nasa MPs paralyse Parliament committees

Justin Muturi, Speaker, National Assembly. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Justin Muturi, Speaker, National Assembly. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) has defied Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka’s directive that they submit names of its members who will sit in the various committees, pointing to continued paralysis of House business next week.

Mr Lusaka on Thursday said he had not received any names from Nasa, three days after the November 20 deadline lapsed.

“I can confirm that i have only received the name of the Leader of Minority (Moses Wetangula). They have also done that for the National Assembly,” Mr Lusaka said.

He said the ruling Jubilee Party’s lists for both the Senate and the National Assembly are ready and will be tabled in both Houses of Parliament when MPs reconvene on Wednesday after a two-week recess.

“We hope to conclude the process of establishing the committees when the House reconvenes next week. I will be issuing a directive, but i hope Nasa will have handed in the names,” Mr Lusaka said.

The Speaker and his National Assembly counterpart, Justin Muturi, had two days ago vowed to press on with the formation of parliamentary committees next week without Nasa should the opposition fail to submit names.

However, the two House leaders will face the challenge of constituting three powerful watchdog committees that are reserved for the Minority Party not forming the government (Nasa).

This followed amendments to the Standing Orders that barred the ruling party from holding deputy chair positions in the powerful Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Public Investments Committee (PIC) and the Committee on Implementation (CoI).

This means Nasa, a coalition of five political parties must chair and deputise PAC, PIC and CoI. There are 28 committees in the National Assembly.

The 14 independent legislators in the National Assembly will produce the chairperson of the newly created Special Funds Accounts Committee (SFAC), which will review the accounts of entities like Women Enterprise and Youth Enterprise Fund.

House Standing Orders require committees to have a quorum of six out of 17 members to conduct business, but is not express as to whether both Jubilee and Nasa MPs must be present to deliberate on matters Nasa had asked the Speaker to give it more time to consult its affiliate parties and sought a November 31 deadline to submit the names.

Nasa dewhipped or barred its MPs from House business and committee proceedings until after the repeat presidential election that took place on October 26 without the participation of its leader Raila Odinga.

The action forced Jubilee to adjourn proceedings until the two petitions challenging President Uhuru Kenyatta’s October 26, win and his swearing in next Tuesday were done.

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