Jubilee accuses its MPs of going against deal on House positions

Benjamin WashialiFour Jubilee Party MPs at the centre of parliamentary committees leadership storm went against an agreement meant to ensure inclusivity in the way the top jobs were shared, according to the party leadership.

Majority Whip in the National Assembly Benjamin Washiali says that by going against the agreement in the party, Alfred Keter, Silas Tiren, Kangogo Bowen and James Gakuya upset a carefully crafted balance.


“It was not imposed on us,” Mr Washiali said of the sharing out of the positions as laid out at a Parliamentary Group meeting hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House in Nairobi, last December 13.

It was agreed that the positions should be shared equitably among counties with each getting a chairperson and vice-chair. But since the committees are not as many as the devolved units, neighbouring counties were to agree.

He said by lobbying to be elected chairman of the Labour and Social Welfare, the Nandi Hills MP took the only chairman’s seat reserved for the Coast region. The seat was meant for Bura MP Ali Wario.

Mr Keter took the seat by striking a deal with unionists, who scored a significant victory when Catherine Wambilianga (Bungoma Woman Rep, Ford-K) was elected vice-chairman.

Jubilee Party had reserved nine seats for the Rift Valley region.

Moiben MP Silas Tiren also upset the balance when he ‘schemed’ to become Agriculture Committee chairman at the expense of Mandera South MP Adan Haji. Marakwet East MP Kangogo Bowen upset the balance by becoming vice chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources committee.

Embakasi North MP James Gakuya went against the decision to have North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko elected chairman of the Broadcasting and Library Committee.

In Eldoret, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi asked the MPs to relinquish the posts for the sake of party unity.

But yesterday, Mr Tiren and Mr Gakuya were defiant, saying that they will not relinquish their positions unless the court rules otherwise.

This comes as Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai gave a notice directing the affected committees to meet on Tuesday next week to deliberate on the petition filed against Mr Tiren by Githunguri MP Gabriel Mukuha.

The two MPs accused President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Mr William Ruto of muzzling the independence of Parliament.


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