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Standoff ends as Kerrow clinches Finance chair

Updated Friday, May 10th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

By MOSES NJAGIH

The leadership stalemate in the Senate’s Finance, Commerce and Economic Affairs Committee was resolved after Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow was unanimously elected chairman.

The elections had been postponed after two candidates, Kerrow and Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, tied four votes each in three rounds of voting. But to end the stalemate, Jubilee on Wednesday replaced Khalwale after he sided with the minority Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) to deny the Government side a clean sweep in the leadership of the committee.

Kerrow became the immediate beneficiary of Jubilee’s de-whipping of Khalwale as he was unanimously elected to chair the committee.

Seven of the nine-member committee also elected Kajiado Senator Peter Mosittet as Kerrow’s deputy after nominated Senator Harold Kipchumba of CORD failed to make it to the ballot for lacking a seconder.

Kipchumba had been proposed by Ford Kenya’s Catherine Mukite, but with only the two of them from the minority side attending the meeting, Kipchumba’s bid could not be seconded, leaving Mosittet to sail through unopposed.

Apart from Mukite and Kipchumba, other CORD members on the committee are Moses Wetangula and Anyang’ Nyong’o. Wetangula did not attend yesterday’s meeting while Nyong’o has been away in the US for private business.

Wetangula, who is the Leader of Minority, was among those who had opposed the replacement of Khalwale, claiming the move was a show of intolerance on the part of the Majority Coalition.

Kerrow assured the committee he would be bipartisan and serve the interests of county governments.

He assured the public the committee would ensure the Treasury respects the law on allocation of revenue between the national Government and counties.

The committee has scheduled its first meeting on Monday, with its first task being the scrutiny of the Division of Revenue Bill and the County Allocation of Revenue Bill.

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