Jubilee MPs Thursday ganged up and rejected President Uhuru Kenyatta’s preferred line-up of nominees to the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), the lawmakers’ employer.
The line-up was reportedly crafted at State House during a parliamentary group meeting that was held under the chairmanship of the President on Wednesday morning.
Mr Kenyatta is said to have directed Jubilee MPs whom to elect as PSC members as well as chairs and deputies of committees.
National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi had to abruptly adjourn debate on the approval of nominees to the lucrative PSC after Jubilee MPs openly rejected the line-up.
PSC pays allowances of Sh40,000 per sitting compared to Sh5,000 for other committees — making it the most lucrative for lawmakers whose pay and perks were cut in July.
Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale had a hectic time controlling Jubilee MPs who openly defied him as he moved a motion for the approval of nominees to the powerful and lucrative commission.
Mr Duale was forced to resort to intimidation tactics, which did not help to quell the open disquiet with Jubilee MPs shouting him down as he read the names of his party nominees.
This forced Speaker Muturi to intervene and prematurely adjourned the motion.
Mr Muturi did not give the timeline to revisit the approval of PSC members. He chairs the commission. The Jubilee MPs were up against the reappointment of Mr Kenyatta’s cousin, Senator Beth Mugo, Eldas MP Adan Keynan and Taveta MP Naomi Shabaan. Only Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot got the backing of Jubilee MPs.
Mr Keynan and Ms Mugo will be making a third and second term respectively at the helm of PSC, a matter that angered MPs from both Jubilee and National Super Alliance (Nasa).
The Jubilee MPs also joined ranks with a section of MPs from Nasa affiliate Wiper Democratic Party to oppose the reappointment of Gladys Wanga to the PSC. Ms Wanga, if approved will be making a second term in the commission.
Wiper MP Ben Momanyi and Muturi Kigano (Jubilee) opposed Nasa’s list, saying it excluded a representative of Wiper, recognised as parliamentary political party.
Mr Muturi directed Nasa to return to its highest party organ and sort the issues of nominations as raised by Mr Momanyi.
In what appeared to a well-choreographed plot against MPs who have served for one or more terms in the commission, Wiper Party MP Dan Maanzo demanded a ruling from Mr Muturi immediately Mr Duale rose to move the motion for adoption of nominees.
He challenged the constitutionality of reappointment of MPs who have served in the commission saying the Supreme Law limits members of Constitutional Commissions to one-six year term.