Jubilee punishes MPs for defying Uhuru directive

Mr Paul Koinange, new Administration and National Security committee chairman. PHOto | Kanyiri Wahito
Mr Paul Koinange, new Administration and National Security committee chairman. PHOto | Kanyiri Wahito 

Jubilee last evening cracked the whip and punished four of its MPs who failed to heed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to elect his preferred line up as chairs and vice chairpersons of House committees.

Three out of the four MPs successfully won chairmanship of the committees after defeating the State House endorsed nominees.

Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, Silas Tiren (Moiben), David Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East) and Alex Kosgey (Emgwen) have lost their seats in the committees after vying against Mr Kenyatta’s preferred nominees.

The MPs have been discharged from the committees by Jubilee Chief Whip in the National Assembly  Benjamin Washiali, effectively losing their membership.

“As per Standing Order No. 176 (2), I hereby discharge the member in reference from the Committee of  Labour and Social Welfare immediately,” Mr Washiali wrote to Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi over Mr Keter’s removal. Similar letters were directed to Mr Bowen and Mr Kosgey.

“The leadership of Jubilee Party in Parliament has given the member adequate opportunity as per Standing Order No. 176(1) and we are convinced that he is not willing to co-operate with the party position,” Mr Washiali said in the letter to Mr Muturi that was also copied to Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai and Leader of Majority Aden Duale.

Mr Keter defied Mr Kenyatta’s order and went ahead and trounced Bura MP Ali Wario to bag the chairmanship of the Labour and Social Welfare committee while Mr Tiren defeated Ali Abdi (Mandera North) to head the powerful Agriculture committee.

Mr Keter secured the backing of MPs with trade union background to win the chairmanship. He was to be deputised by Bungoma Woman Representative and the current Kenya Union of Post Primary  Education (Kuppet) national secretary in charge of gender Catharine Wambilianga.

Mr Bowen beat Ijara MP Sofia Abdi in the race for the chairmanship of Environment and Natural Resources committee.

Mr Kosgey, who is doing a second term in Parliament, unsuccessfully contested against Kieni MP Kanini Kega for the Trade, Industrialisation and Co-operatives committee. Mr Kega trounced Mr Kosgey after poling 12 votes against five. 

MPs endorsed the nomination of Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange and his Sirisia counterpart John Waluke as chairman and vice chairman of the powerful Administration and National Security.

Tinderet MP Julius Melly and former Finance minister Amos Kimunya were elected chairman and vice chairman of the Education committee.  

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichungwa was elected chairman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee. Transport committee will be chaired by David Pkosing (Pokot South) and deputised by Moses Kuria (Gatundu South).

Others elected as chairpersons are Rachael Nyamai (Lands), Sabina Chege (Health), Kathuri Murungi (Special Funds Accounts), William Cheptumo (Justice and Legal Affairs), William Kisang (ICT) and Victor Munyaka (Sports, Culture and Tourism).

MPs elected Mvita MP Abdulswad Nassir as the chairman of the Public Investments Committee, which is reserved for the opposition or a party not forming government.