Mudavadi fights Raila over parliamentary committees

Raila Odinga and Musalia Mudavadi at a past function. Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC blocked Raila Odinga’s ODM party from removing its members from parliamentary committees. [File, Standard]
Opposition coalition wrangles escalated yesterday after Musalia Mudavadi kicked off a battle with his co-principal Raila Odinga over the control of House Committees and leadership.

Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) have moved to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal (PPDT) to block removal of its members from various committees in the National Assembly.

At the Senate, ANC nominated Senator Petronila Were was stripped off her Deputy Minority Whip Position.

NASA Minority Leader James Orengo in a letter to the Speaker said 17 senators who attended the coalition’s parliamentary group meeting Thursday resolved to replace Were with her nominated colleague Beatrice Kwamboka (ODM).

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Deputy Speaker   Kithure Kindiki told the House that he has received a letter    from the coalition, effecting the change of guard in the opposition deputy minority whip position.

“I find and hold that on the basis of the letter from NASA leadership, Senator Were has been validly removed from her post as the Deputy Minority Whip and replaced by Senator Kwamboka,” said Prof Kindiki.

ANC and Ford Kenya of Senator Moses Wetang’ula have accused Raila’s ODM party of unfairly targeting their members in the proposed changes in committee membership.

 Mr Orengo and Senator Judy Pareno(Nominated) clarified that there was no malice in the decision and that their ousted colleague had been briefed adequately.

The latest changes follow the replacement of Wetang’ula as Senate Minority Leader with ODM’s Orengo in March this year.

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ANC MPs affected by the changes include MPs Alfred Sambu (Webuye East), Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale), Tindi Mwale (Butere) and Christopher Aseka (Kwisero) while in Ford Kenya Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza), Catherine Wabilianga (Bungoma County), James Lusweti (Kabuchai) and Charles Gimose (Hamisi) have also been moved.

Also moved are ODM MPs among them Peter Kaluma (Homabay Town), Gladys Wanga (Homabay County), Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka), Christopher Omulele (Luanda), Justice Kizito (Shinyalu), John Walter Owino (Awendo), Asha Mohammed Hussein (Mombasa), Abdulswamad Sharif (Mvita).

In Wiper, MPs Gideon Mulyungi (Mwnigi Central) and Edith Nyenze (Kitui west) have been moved.

In the proposed changes, some members have been moved from one committee to another while others have been stripped off the slots for being in many committees so as to give room for their colleagues.

Yesterday, ANC through it Secretary General Barrack Muluka obtained orders stopping the changes, in what signaled a renewed contest between the allies-turned-political foes.

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“That an interim injunction order be and is hereby issued restraining the respondents (ODM and NASA) from presenting to the interested parties or tabling in the August House the/any list of opposition members of the National Assembly to be withdrawn from their committee roles/position without due regard to the law and/or the standing orders of the National Assembly pending the inter-parties of the application.

The complaint will be heard on next week Friday by PPDT chairman Kyalo Mbobu.

Last week, National Assembly Minority Whip and Suba East MP Junet Mohamed (ODM) submitted a letter to Speaker Justin Muturi over the proposed changes.

Muluka has termed the move "mischievous and undemocratic", and accused ODM of being drunk with power.

But ANC nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi dismissed claims that the party was unfairly targeted, stating that the changes affected all the four NASA affiliate parties.

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“It is insincere for ANC to claim that our members are targeted in the changes. It was agreed that any member chairing a committee to relinquish any other membership slots. Members in three or more committees or those who don’t attend sittings have also been removed,” said Osotsi.

Sambu has been moved from the Committee on Finance and National Planning to the Select Committee on Constitutional Implementation and Oversight Committee while Bunyasi has been moved from the Public Accounts Committee to the Budget and Appropriation Committee.

Mwale was moved from Public Investments Committee to Committee on Delegated Legislation while Aseka was moved from Budget and Appropriation Committee.

Kaluma, was appointed to the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security to replace the Kizito who together with Wanga, were moved to the Public Investments Committee to replace Mulyungi and Mwale.

Abdulswamad has been moved from the Committee on Delegated Legislation to concentrate on chairing PIC.

Owino was appointed to the Select Committee on members' Services and Facilities to replace the Wambilianga,

Lusweti was appointed to the Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity to replace the Nyali MP Mohammed Ali while Kajwang’ was appointed to PAC to replace Bunyasi.

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Raila OdingaMusalia MudavadiHouse CommitteeNASA