Raila warns against Ababu removal from PAC

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PARLIAMENTARY Accounts Committee chairman Ababu Namwamba may survive a bid to topple him from the most powerful oversight committee today, following a stern warning from Raila Odinga to his opposition troops.

The former Premier, who leads both Cord and ODM, directed his party’s MPs who support the no-confidence motion to withdraw and threatened dire disciplinary action, including de-whipping of ODM members from the watchdog committee.

Raila’s warning was delivered during a tense meeting between ODM’s PAC members and the Cord top brass in Parliament, including Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula.

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“Jakom’s message was very clear, that the party is standing with the chair,” an MP who attended the meeting confided to the Star. “He said that going against the directive would attract serious disciplinary action – including being de-whipped.”

Raila has been away in Brussels and is currently leading an African Union election observer mission in Lesotho.

However, the directive is likely to save Namwamba, who is also the ODM secretary general, as the 26-member committee meets this morning to determine his fate.

Three ODM MPs in PAC – Omondi Anyanga, Abbas Mohammed and Andrew Mwadime – have ganged up with Jubilee legislators to remove Namwamba over bribery allegations.

There are allegations that Jubilee, through Majority Leader Aden Duale, is rallying its members to support Abbas for the position, a preserve of the opposition.

“Anyaga wrongly believed that he would take over as the Chair if Ababu is removed. What he is not aware of is that Duale is fronting Abbas. If members were to vote, Abbas would be the next PAC chairman,” another MP told the Star.

The PAC wrangles is threatening to jeopardise ODM’s unity barely months after Raila brokered a delicate leadership deal that ended months of a vicious leadership row.

ODM chairman John Mbadi, also a member of the committee, suggested on Tuesday that the PAC should be reconstituted to maintain what he termed as “the moral high ground”.

By Wednesday morning, 15 MPs had signed the motion, detailing five grounds for the removal of the firebrand lawmaker.

Among the grounds are pocketing millions in bribes to alter reports that are likely to indict high-flying State officers.

These are reports on the Judiciary, procurement of a luxury jet for the Deputy President and the Biometric Voter Registration kits.

ODM MPS opposed to Namwamba insist that he has failed to boost the opposition’s profile in the war on graft.

– the-star.co.ke

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