A Jubilee MP from Bungoma County is now threatening to join the opposition over claims that the President has short-changed leaders from Western Kenya.
Kimilili MP Didimus Barasa said he will lead five Jubilee MPs from Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia County to join the National Super Alliance (NASA) if Water Cabinet Secretary (CS) Eugene Wamalwa is not re-appointed.
The legislator told The Standard that a decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta last week not to retain Wamalwa in his cabinet was ill-advised.
“CS Wamalwa was the face of Jubilee in Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia Counties. Kicking him out has eroded the gains Jubilee had made in the region. We shall have no business remaining in Jubilee after the ouster of our team leader Wamalwa,” said Mr Barasa.
On Tuesday, the Kimilili MP disclosed that their grouse with the party led by President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto is not only about the CS position, but about how the House Committee leadership posts were shared.
Barasa observed that in the eleventh parliament, two members of the Luhya community allied to Jubilee, Trans-Nzoia County MP Janet Nangabo and former Matungu David Were chaired two House committees; Welfare and Labour committees respectively.
However according to the lawmaker, in the current parliament, no one from the entire region and the two counties of Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia is in-charge of any House committee.
“We tried to lobby during the Parliamentary Group meeting for some of our members to lead the committees in vain. We instead ended up being duped and shortchanged by our colleagues,” he said.
Some analysts aver that the election of former Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka as the Senate Speaker may have resulted in the decision by President Kenyatta to drop CS Wamalwa, since the two leaders hail from the same region.
Barasa dismissed the claims noting that although the Senate speaker’s seat is powerful in terms of hierarchy in government, Mr Lusaka’s post does not have much benefit to the community.
“It is the CS post that will help Bungoma and Trans-Nzoia residents. During the first term of President Kenyatta, we had two CS’s posts. Apart from Wamalwa, we now demand for two more posts, since we mobilized our supporters to overwhelmingly vote for Jubilee,” said Barasa.
Mr Wamalwa was among thirteen CS’s that the Head of State decided not to retain in his cabinet last Friday. Others include Mwangi Kiunjuri(Devolution) , Amina Mohamed(Foreign Affairs), Jacob Kaimenyi ( Lands ) , Raychelle Omamo(Defense) and Judi Wakhungu (Environment).
Also affected were Phyllis Kandie (East African Affairs), Hassan Wario (Sports), Willy Bett (Agriculture), Sicily Kariuki(Public Service and Gender Affairs), Cleopa Mailu (Health), Adan Mohammed (Industrialization) and Dan Kazungu (Mining).