POSSIBLE SCENARIOS AT PLAY
• Khalwale appeared to have lost the goodwill of MPs apparently because recent political developments worked against him
• Ethnic factors were at play with the second censure on Kimunya interpreted as undermining central Kenya players
• Ministers who had escaped similar fate few months ago could have lent a helping hand to their besieged colleagues
• Reports claim MPs were paid between Sh20,000 and Sh30,000 each to reject the Motion for the adoption of PAC report
• An MP intimated that ODM MPs were under instructions to save Kimunya because he may be the point man in Central Province after Uhuru, and that the party’s dalliance with him would be a big political score for the Orange party
By PETER OPIYO
Transport minister Amos Kimunya’s narrow escape in Parliament on Tuesday was secured through a conspiracy involving settling of political scores, returning of old favours, flare-up of ethnic loyalties, and claims of bribery.
That way Kimunya escaped the humiliation of being censured and probably even being forced to step aside in line with the Constitution or even boycott by MPs of any ministerial business he would be transacting in the House.
The minister, who has a reputation of getting into trouble with MPs, some of whom accuse him of being haughty, tribal, and probably even the face of impunity and high-handedness, survived the censure when MPs closed ranks and threw out the damning report of the Public Accounts Committee.
Unlike in 2009, when Kimunya was indicted during proceedings in which no member came to his defence, on Tuesday, the Kipipiri MP had enough backers to throw out PAC report.
He survived alongside Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, with whom he had been joined in the hip over allegations of connivance in the loss of Sh1.8 billion in expensive currency printing contract, just like in the 2009 censure Motion.
Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, who had successfully prosecuted the case against the two three years ago over the controversial sale of the Grand Regency Hotel, however, had a hectic time moving the latest Motion.
Khalwale appeared to have lost the goodwill of MPs apparently because recent political developments worked against him.
The PAC chairman is now a key ally of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and he has consistently led attacks against Prime Minister Raila Odinga, something that denied him the support of Raila’s key backers in the House. They decided to take down Khalwale on a Motion he was so passionate about not for the love of Kimunya, but as a punishment for Khalwale’s persistent attacks on the PM.
Still ethnic factors were at play with the second censure on Kimunya interpreted as undermining central Kenya players. Some said the indictment of the two was viewed as a ploy to embarrass Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
Another factor was that ministers who had escaped similar fate few months ago could have lent a helping hand to their besieged colleagues.
A report by the Health Committee that adversely mentioned Public Service Minister Dalmas Otieno and Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o over the National Hospital Insurance Fund saga suffered a similar fate in June.