Tyranny of numbers at play again-CORD legislators reduced to mere spectators

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 20 – The Jubilee Coalition’s numerical strength in the National Assembly was at play again, as the ruling alliance seized control of all 16 committees whose elections were conducted on Monday.

CORD legislators were reduced to mere spectators as they lacked a strategy to beat their counterparts.

Minority Leader Francis Nyenze said the coalition would have to play its role in the committees by active participation.

The elections for the departmental committees are scheduled to end on Tuesday when MPs pick leaders to the committees on Delegated Legislation, Legal Affairs and that of National Security.

The most dramatic contest on Monday was that for chairman of the Energy, Communications and Information Committee that pitted Jamleck Kamau (Kigumo) and Mithika Linturi (Igembe South) both of TNA. Kamau emerged victorious after he garnered 13 votes against Linturi’s 10. The United Republican Party’s (URP) Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South) beat James Rege (Karachuonyo) to clinch the vice-chairman’s seat.

MPs from the United Democratic Forum benefited from a co-operation agreement they have signed with the ruling coalition as David Were (Matungu) and Ayub Savula (Lugari) will steer business in the Labour and Social Welfare as well as the Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives committees respectively.

Women MPs took control of various committees including that of Health which will be headed by Narc’s Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), Education which will be headed by TNA’s Sabina Chege (Muranga CWR) and Environment and Natural Resources which will be chaired by TNA’s Amina Abdallah (Nominated). Florence Kajuju (Meru CWR) will chair the Regional Integration Committee.

In other results; TNA’s Maina Kamanda (Starehe) was elected Transport, Public Works and Housing chairman to be deputised by URP’s Maalim Mohammud. James Ndung’u (Tetu) of TNA will lead the Defence and Foreign Relations Committee with Bare Shill (Fafi) from URP as his vice chairman while URP’s Benjamin Lagat will be in charge of the Finance, Trade and Planning Committee.

The House Committees will begin the interrogation of budgetary estimates that were tabled in Parliament recently as their first agenda.

Before beginning to perform their duties, the committee members will head for a retreat where MPs will be trained on the workings of the committees given that ministers will no longer sit in Parliament.

The Legal Affairs Committee is slated to vet Deputy Chief Justice Nominee Justice Kalpana Rawal on Friday.

The Committee on National Security which will hold its polls on Tuesday will also vet Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia on Wednesday.

Under the new dispensation, MPs will play a vital role in governance and budget making process, which can only be done through the relevant 28 departmental committees.


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